Our Beacon Forum

Female Foeticide on the rise in India & China
By:Salma Reza, Srilanka
Date: Friday, 24 February 2012, 11:29 pm

The Muslims, by and large are poor and less educated but they are not indulged in this barbaric act of killing of her own female child in mothers womb. They should dissuade their compatriots to shun this centuries old cruel habit. It was our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who buried the Preislamic horrendous crime when Arabs used to bury their live girls in grave pits.

In this modern age wherein the majority of Non Muslims girls are no more burden whether as a daughter or as wife since they are earning members - sometime more than their male counterparts. Even from US, UK and Australia, under a package deal, the pregnant NRI women are sent to Bangkok and Singapore and to India as well for sex diagnosis clinics and if the fetus is female, it will be painfully removed from mother's womb.

Unfortunately, Muslims have learnt a lot to spend heavily on marriages and exchange of dowry is at steep rise. Only few think to clear the dower-debt (Meher) and their legal share from parents property.

IN Muslim society,sometimes, the girls are over-pampered and are left unchecked for education and and mingles freely not only at workplace but outside working hours passes time in restaurants and in parties.

Salma Reza, Srilanka

Female foeticide on the rise
The barbaric acts that are committed against women are endless and there's no single cause behind these issues. The secondary status of women and the fact that she is considered nothing more than a commodity has a significant role to play behind the imbalance in female to male sex ratio.

In India, female foeticide and infanticide are rampant and the number of cases being reported is increasing by the day. Rural areas without means to determine the sex of their child wait till it is born and when the newborn is a girl child; they go ahead and kill the baby without a second thought. These babies are strangled to death, poisoned, starved or sometimes, even thrown in garbage bins. The male child is considered to be superior and its birth is celebrated by one and all. The continued practice of dowry, even though it is illegal and a fear that the girl child may be abused are believed to be some reasons behind the increasing number of incidences of female foeticide in India.

China is another example where technology seems to have facilitated the slaughter of the girl child even before its birth. Gender identification by ultrasound scanning has only aggravated the situation and helped enhance the menace. It's disturbing to see the indifference in the attitude of government and medical professionals. The government has banned determination of sex of the baby in the womb but several cases of illegal practices and unsafe abortions have been reported. The 'Dying Rooms' report by BBC many years ago had claimed that conscious decisions to let infants die of starvation were made by orphanages in China. On the outskirts of Beijing many have reported that newborn baby girls were being abandoned to starve and die.

Many have voiced their concern over this sensitive issue and campaigns have been launched to create awareness. The menace will be hard to fight till we all realise that each girl child born is a unique and valuable human being who is entitled to equal opportunities as everyone else. It does not matter whether she is born in an affluent family or in some faraway village, she has the right to live and live it without submitting to anyone's dictates. Society needs to change its notion that a woman should be submissive and obedient towards her husband/father. Gender discrimination only makes the situation worse and people go on living this life of blissful unawareness. Many states in India have witnessed adverse demographic implications and a dip in the number of girls born.

According to a United Nations report, an estimated 2000 unborn girls are illegally aborted in India every day. Parts of Haryana have witnessed a dip in sex ratio - 618 girls for 1,000 boys. On the whole, while the national sex ratio is 933 per 1,000 men, in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, and Delhi, it is below 900. Such alarming figures are sure to raise doubts in our mind whether enough has been done to curb female foeticide. The deeply entrenched values and beliefs that exist in our society are a hindrance to the all round development of women. Women need to be treated as equals and should be given all the rights that come under the purview of human rights. Equality of status for the girl child has to be ensured and strict laws have to be in place to protect the life of the born and the unborn.