A Forum for Women and Child
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WHERE IS THIS MISS MISSING?
In India, female foeticide - the sex-selective abortion of girls - has led to an alarming "gender gap" in the country's population. It is a tragedy that every year, half a million girl children are being killed and prevented from being born In 1990, when the census showed that there were 25 million more males than females in India, the government reacted by introducing a law making it illegal to detect the sex of a foetus through ultrasound examination. Yet by 2001, the gender gap had risen to 35 million, and now experts estimate it as high as 50 million.
The 2001 national census had recorded alarming trends in the sex ratio with less than 800 girls for 1000 boys below 6 years in several areas while there were only 929 female adults for 1000 men.
India is losing almost 7,000 girls daily because of the traditional preference for sons which cause many people to abort female foetuses
However, recent UN and Indian studies reveal that female foeticide is today most frequent among the rich and highly educated. One study maps the increased frequency of female foeticide with rising levels of education - lowest among women with a fifth-grade education and highest among women with university degrees.
A study by British medical journal "The Lancet" said this year that India may have lost 10 million unborn girls in the past 20 years, but Indian experts say the figure is not more than five million.
The national average is 927 -- still well below the worldwide average of 1,050 female babies.
It is shocking that the declining sex ratio has already led to a situation where brothers shared a wife and in some cases even fathers and sons shared a wife in several parts of the country. This could have serious consequences as the genes would all get mixed up resulting in ill-health and other complications.
Foeticide report: 7 000 fewer girls a day in India
Every year, as millions of women marry, they dream of starting a family, of having their homes filled with tiny cries and the happy laughter of gurgling babies. In India however, pregnancy is too often followed by the question of whether the unborn child is a girl or a boy.
"Chhore Pe Baje Thali, Chhori Pe Thekere Phoren" is an old
sentiment in the Indian state of Haryana which means "announce the birth of a son by beating of brass plates but at the birth of a daughter break earthen pots."
"India is one of the few countries worldwide with an adverse child sex ratio in favor of boys," the United Nations children's agency said in its annual "State of the World's Children 2007" report.
Female foeticide still a problem in 21st century India
Where we are?
Reasons for decline in child sex
Neglect of Female, resulting in higher Mortality at
Female infanticide and Female Feticide
Factor responsible for Female Feticide
Obsession for Son.
Discrimination against the girl child
Socio-Economic and physical insecurity of women
Evil of dowry
Misuse of PNDT Act.
Lack of Awareness about the PNDT Act and its
With development of technology for the pre-natal determination of sex of the child, infanticide has been replaced by female foeticide. What was meant to be a test to detect only genetic abnormalities in a foetus, began to be misused for sex selective abortions.
Affluent families can now detect the sex of the foetus and abort it if required, which is an easier alternative. Interestingly, sex ratio of children at birth in urban areas shows a wider gap than rural areas. Easy availability of diagnostic techniques is one major reason.
Today, the sex of a foetus can be determined by...