Vol. 2, Issue 4 (2015)
Preference for a male child over a female child is thus found to be universal, but unlike other societies, Indian discriminate, dislike and in their subconscious blame a girl child for her misery and misfortune. Religion, customs and traditions too play their own role in providing legitimacy to this discrimination value attached to the son is well explained in the blessing and good wishes showered on various occasions in everyday life. A strong preference for sons have led to practice of female infanticide in the past and female foeticide in last two decades. The abortion of female foetus, infanticide and bride burning at a later stage can be considered to be the most intensified discrimination against girls and women. The only reason for decreasing women population is – killing of girl fetus before birth. Owing to the advancement of science and technology and subsequent development of ultrasound technique, it is very easy to know the sex of the fetus within few months of its formation, so that couples who do not want to have girl child abort the fetus. In other words, they get their child murdered in the womb. The preference for son is considered as the most important factor responsible for female foeticide because son provides security in the old age to parents, carries family names and performs last rites of parents. On the other hand analyzing factors responsible for female foeticide, it was found that due to the cost of marriage and dowry, girls are becoming liabilities for their parents. The other important factors such as increase in crime against women, sense of insecurity and sense of praya dhan, property of others are some of the other factors which lead to female foeticide in rural areas. As a result of selective abortion, around 35 to 40 million girls are missing from the Indian population. In some parts of the country, the sex ratio of girls to boys has dropped to less than 800:1,000. The sex ratio has altered consistently in favour of boys since the beginning of the 20th century and the effect has been most pronounced in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. It was in these states that private sex determination clinics were first established and the practice of selective abortion became popular from the late 1970s. This clearly reflected in the juvenile sex ratio for the country as a whole, dropped from 1927 to 914 girls per 1000 boys from 2001 to 2011 censuses. Various sociological studies have shown how crime against women is linked with adverse sex ratio. Several studies have categorically pointed out that technology is facilitating ‘sex-perference’ leading to elimination of the girl children in children even before birth. In the present paper, an attempt has been tried to know what are the factors responsible for female foeticide.
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