Female foeticide is the termination of female fetuses in the wombs of their mothers, for the selfish greed of having a male child. It is a matter of deep shame and a cause of great concern. The evil of female foeticide is deeply entrenched in our society and pervades all classes and castes of society. It is very heart wrenching when a family does not think twice before killing a girl-child, though they indulge themselves in praying religiously to Goddess Lakshmi, Kali, and Durga.
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Female foeticide is a medical procedure where a female fetus is aborted in the womb of the pregnant woman after identifying the gender of the fetus through ultrasound. This act is illegal in India. It is a social issue that causes unfair treatment of different genders in society.
When women get married, they have many dreams and aspirations for the new phase of life. They dream of having a good family and children. In India, however, pregnancy is often followed by the question of whether the unborn child is a girl or a boy. In our country, many people have a major obsession with sons. They think that a son is a cause for joy and lifetime security, and celebration. They have the view that a girl child is a cause of an economic drain as her marriage and dowry will crush the family under a huge burden of debts.
While it is often believed that such ill practices are largely part of the lower strata of society but shockingly there have been many revelations recently that even wealthy Indian couples are flocking to the neighbouring countries to know the gender of the fetus as it is illegal here in India.
It is interesting to learn the reasons that lead to such a biased mindset.
Some believe that boys are an investment while girls are economic drainers.
They also believe that boys would grow the family’s lineage and would secure their parents’ future.
The girls are considered a liability, as they need to be married off with enormous dowry.
Some believe that in a male-dominated society, it is easy to bring up a boy since the safety of the females is a big issue and so raising girls up involves trouble.
Poverty, illiteracy, and insecurity play a major role in this.
In a male-dominated society, females are still considered as subordinate and inferior to males.
Some backward families believe that having a boy child is going to uplift the status of the family.
They can demand dowry in marriage from the bride’s family for their son.
This illegal practice has affected the scale of the population. According to the statistics of the General Office for Population Family Planning, the number of newborn boys and girls is unequal because of the discrimination of genders. Unfortunately, this situation has been persisting for over a very long time. The impacts of it in the population are rather huge. As per the report of the Ministry of Public Health, it is estimated that, despite the attempts to reduce the fluctuation between the birth of boys and girls, in 2020 there will be 4.3 million more men than women which might have huge repercussions.
A lot of measures have been taken to fight against this illegal practice.
The government of India has initiated education and media advertisements to reach hospitals and clinics and medical professionals to increase awareness.
The Indian Medical Association has shouldered efforts to prevent prenatal sex determination by promoting ‘Beti-Bachao’ during its meeting and conferences.
The campaign of Beti-Bachao is initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise awareness of the gender disparities creating and resulting from sex-selective abortion.
Some policies initiated by many states in India attempt to address the assumed economic disadvantage of girls by offering aids to girls and their parents.
The dowry system, one of the main causes of female foeticide should be abolished from society.
Some policies provide scholarships and cash credits only to girls.
Medical licenses must be terminated with immediate effect for the practitioners who are conducting female foeticide.
The families who are forcing this act on their daughters-in-law should be penalized.
Young women and girls should be empowered to stand for their rights. They should be self-reliant and become capable of making their decisions.
Through a lot of awareness, consideration, and understanding, we can bring a shift in our beliefs and perceptions of society to give equal space to the girl child. A little change in our mindset and attitude is all that is needed to welcome daughters in our hearts and in this world.
Q1. What is Female Foeticide?
Ans. Female foeticide is a medical procedure where a female fetus is aborted in the womb of the pregnant woman after identifying the gender of the fetus through ultrasound.
Q2. What are the Causes that Lead to Female Foeticide?
Ans. The causes that lead to female foeticide are poverty, illiteracy, etc. The downtrodden thoughts of some people who think that having a boy child would give them a status in society is another major cause of female foeticide. Some people hold the views that girls are consumers and boys are producers. They also believe that boys will carry on the name of the family and the lineage. Some also think that girls are a burden for the family, as they have to give dowry to get her married. Many also want a boy child so that they can demand dowry from the bride’s family.
Q3. What Campaign did Narendra Modi Start?
Ans. Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi started the campaign of Beti-Bachao. The objective of this campaign was to raise awareness of the gender disparities creating and resulting from sex-selective abortion.
Q4. What Measures should the Government Take to Prevent Female Foeticide?
Ans. The government, with the help of the media, should create awareness of the disadvantages of this practice. Women and young girls should be empowered so that they become self-reliant and capable of making their own decisions. The families who force this evil act on their daughters-in-law and the medical practitioners should be penalized heavily.