No neglect of female child;
Preference for a male child:
Sons have traditionally been preferred over daughters in many parts of China, India and South Korea due to social, cultural and financial motivations.
As per recent census India has sex ratios as high as 125 in Punjab, Delhi and Gujarat in the north but normal sex ratios of 105 in the southern and eastern states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, in the recent census.
Why majority of the people are desperate to have a girl child:
Women are considered as a weaker sex .It is a surprise to see why this difference between a man and a woman still exists in any country that has witnessed much advancement in every field.
Desire for a male child with a belief, that he will become caretaker and a source of strength in the old age, demand for a heavy dowry, patriarchal structure of a society are considered as the main reasons for rejecting and eroding the value of a girl child.
In addition to female infanticide and female feticide, she is discriminated and deprived of the fundamental rights of education, freedom, empowerment, nutrition, to live a life with dignity and honor at every stage of life.
It is important to usher significant changes in societal attitude and perceptions with regard to women in every sphere. On one hand, we worshipped woman at par with god. On the other hand, she is made to suffer various kinds of atrocities like dowry deaths, sati, sexual abuse, domestic violence, female infanticide, and female feticide.
In the past, women were treated as mere house workers, expected to be bound to four walls of the house and managed only household chores.
But the reason, which tops the list, is dowry – a price paid by the parents to marry off their daughters.
Even after Independence, most families have craved for boys to continue the lineage, bring home the fodder and sustain livelihood for the family. Caste systems never allowed women to bend gender roles. The trouble lies with the interpretation of the ancient texts.
However, it is being misused on a large scale in India, as a result of the widespread preference of male child over a female child in the Indian society. Indian laws have been enacted to curb the practice of female feticide in India.
In 200 BC, Manu wrote, ‘In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent’. Since then women have struggled to maintain their lives leave alone have an identity for themselves. In rural areas where poverty is abject, women can barely nourish themselves, even though they comprise of 84% of the working population.
Reasons for having male child are many. To name a few: From carrying the family name forward to lighting the funeral pyre to hoping for a male breadwinner in the family.
Abortions of female fetuses have led to a massive surplus of young unmarried men in India and China, raising fears of an outcast group that could threaten the social fabric, a study says.
The trend took root in the 1980s when ultrasound technologies made it easier for families to detect fetal sex early and to abort if it was not what the parents desired, said the analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Sex-selective abortion is outlawed but can be difficult to enforce.
The phenomenon was first spotted in South Korea in the early 1990s, when the sex ratio at birth (SRB) – typically 105 male births to every 100 female births – rose to 125 in some cities.
Similar rises in male births were seen in China, complicated by the one-child policy, which has undoubtedly contributed to the steady increase from 106 in 1979, to 111 in 1990, 117 in 2001 and 121 in 2005.
In parts of China where a second child is allowed, after a daughter is the first born, for the second is 143, suggesting that many choose to abort a second girl fetus in favor of trying again for a boy.
Estimates of China’s actual population difference in 2005 pointed to 1.1 million excess males, with men fewer than 20 exceeding the number of females by about 32 million.
These men will be unable to marry, in societies where marriage is regarded as virtually universal, and where social status and acceptance depend, in large part, on being married and creating a new family.
Because they may lack a stake in the existing social order, it is feared that they will become bound together in an outcast culture, turning to antisocial behavior and organized crime, thereby threatening societal stability and security.
Other concerns include the possibility that the surge of unmarried men will boost the sex industry, which has already expanded in India and China over the past 10 years.
However, the part played by a high sex ratio in this expansion is impossible to isolate; there is no evidence that numbers of sex workers are greater in areas with high sex ratios.
Despite the grim outlook for the generation of males entering their reproductive years over the next two decades, there are encouraging signs.
A crackdown on sex-selective abortion in South Korea has resulted in a more normalized male-to-female birth rate in recent years, and China and India are both down from their peak SRBs due in part to public awareness campaigns and relaxed one-child policies.
Advance information about birth of a female child.
With ever increasing consciousness towards small family norms, it becomes even more compelling for the couples to get the sex of their babies determined early in the pregnancy. If a couple already has a girl, it is more likely to opt for abortion, in case the test proves the foetus to be a female. According to reports, out of the foetuses that are aborted in India after sex determination, around 99 per cent are females
Various sex determination techniques like biopsy, sonograms, ultrasounds, scan tests and amniocenteses were introduced to detect foetal abnormalities. Unfortunately, these tests were used as a tool by number of families to detect the sex of the child that is yet to born.
In spite of all stringent laws framed to curb this undesirable practice of killing innocent girl, still this heinous crime continues unabated in a desire for a male child/heir. If this practice continues at this rampant rate, then that day will not far, when our mother earth will have no girl, no daughter, no woman to give birth, and ultimately, no life on earth.
Due to financial constraints, many couples prefer planned pregnancy. In such cases, the first prenatal visit actually happens prior to actual pregnancy, whether one is ready to go off the contraceptive pills and conceive a baby.
Times have changed now. Like men, she could excel in every field. India has tremendous examples of woman who have risen from the ashes and done the country proud.
Female child is not a curse on the society. She is one of the most beautiful and precious gifts of god. She is the most beautiful creation on this earth. She carries within her the beginning and the end. Patience and tolerance are the two important virtues bestowed by god on the woman, helps her to face bravely the troubles of the society.
Facts about girl child:
Girls are not liabilities or burden, they are valuable assets.
She brings fortune not misery.
She is the creator not destroyer.
Girl child is the most precious gem, save her from any cataclysm.
After god, she has the potential to give birth to a new life.
Son is a son till he takes a wife but daughter remains daughter till the rest of her life.
Daughter is the knot that unites two families together.
Education is the basic human right that is vital to personal and societal development and well-being.
You educate a man, you educate a person, you educate a woman, and you educate a complete family.
Denial of education further aggravates the problem of a girl child. Education enables her to think wisely, to take rational decisions, to act swiftly, learn to respect, and develop civic sense, to judge independently and to be a good citizen.
The State Government had implemented a number of schemes to raise the social status of the girl child in the society.
Improving female literacy will increase women’s awareness towards their benefits and rights. Special campaigns for promoting girl child and women education should be encouraged at all levels.
This is high time every individual to stage a big, concerted, worldwide campaign against all forms of abortions, except on medical grounds, and must take all other religions along.
The hope for the country lies in giving equals opportunities to boys and girls. Educating a girl child in India: With government initiatives and NGOs the word is spreading- the need to educate both girls and boys.
In rural areas, nearly 65 % of women favor literacy to remove the gender bias. But avoid sending their girls to schools as they are vulnerable to male teachers! In urban areas, girls are deliberately not given proper education. In many south Indian states, the girls are studying and getting an opportunity to live.
With the current economic status in the country undergoing changes, there needs to be a sustained awareness of bringing up the girl child with more care and love. In states of Rajasthan and Gujarat child marriages are common. Barely ten year old girls are wedded and they become pregnant by the age of 16 years. Having become a mother in the age of innocence, it is against natural live process for a young girl.
Time and again girls have proved to be supportive of old parents and have nurtured their children into better adults. This has happened in places where girls and boys are raised together without any gender bias.
Various programs stressing the importance of a healthy child are of paramount importance. Only this way will the country not be bracketed with China, Bangladesh and Pakistan where the incidences of empowering the girl child are nonexistent.
India needs to protect the girls like goddess because when they grow up they do bring Lakshmi (wealth), Saraswati (knowledge), Parvati (power). Being biologically stronger than men they are the future of the country.
Professor of Finance, Hawassa University,Hawassa,Ethiopia
Former professor,Kakatiya university,Warangal,A.P India
Former district coordinator,A.P.Productivity council,Hyderabad,
former Vice Chairman/director,Bhadradri Bank,Khammam,A.P.India
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