Sadaf Nasir, Naila Rashid
Dr. Sadaf Nasir, Dr. Naila Rashid
Guest Faculty, Department of Sociology, AMU, Aligarh,
PGT (SSSC) Boys, AMU, Aligarh
Volume - 4,
Issue - 2,
Year - 2013
The natural and biological laws of human reproduction maintain mankind’s sex ratio. These laws are slowly and steadily eroded by customs, traditions, and religious beliefs. One of the greatest threats to our contemporary civilization is the menace of a skewed sex ratio (Patel, 2007). The increasing imbalance between men and women is leading to many crimes such as illegal trafficking of women, sexual assaults, polygamy and dehumanization of society (www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l292-Female-Foeticide.html). Women, who constitute half of the human population, have been discriminated, harassed and irrespective of the country to which they belong, unmindful of the religion which they profess and oblivious of the timeframe in which they live (Jena, 1998). This oppression has taken a further toll in the present day by the misuse of sophisticated medical technologies. Nature has no bias towards gender, unlike us humans. As a result, we are encountering an adverse sex ratio in South and East Asian countries like China, India, etc. The decline in sex ratio is due to a combination of anti-natalist policy, illegal abortions, and illegal foetal sex determination tests which are mediated through informal networks which are “Social/neighborhood and kinship ties, both as a means and resource, and the manner these are used by people in the community” (Patel, 2007).
In India, girl children and women are most vulnerable to discrimination and deprivation. Even today, dowry is the greatest menace. It is estimated that India is experiencing a dowry death every 93 minutes. Again, the rate of female foeticide and infanticide are rapidly increasing in our society. This reflects that although sati is abolished, the atrocities against the female gender in India have taken various shapes and sizes. Indian society is also patrilineal, patriarchal and patrilocal, with obvious gender biases in our male-dominated society. It is said that, “a woman who gives birth to only daughters may be left in the eleventh year of marriage” (Sharma & Jain, 2005). The escalating demand for dowry is cited as one of the major reason for female foeticide. Daughters are considered that as financial liabilities by parents the fruits of expanding on daughter is considered to be raped by the in-laws, opposed to the attitude, towards the male. It is the thinking that children who are seen as the breadwinners, who will look after their parents, would carry on the name of the family. The thinking is strengthened and propagated by economic, religious, social and emotional desires and norms, which leads to the “Parents expecting sons but not daughters to provide financial and emotional care, especially in their old age; sons add to family wealth and property while daughters drain it through dowries; sons continue the family lineage while daughters are married away to another household; sons perform important religious roles; and sons defend and exercise the family’s power while daughters have to be defended and protected creating a perceived burden on the household” (Pande & Malhotra, 2005). Female foeticide is aborting the female baby in the mother’s womb. Whereas female infanticide is killing a baby girl after she is being born.
Cite this article:
Sadaf Nasir, Naila Rashid. Female Foeticide: A Spot on Mankind. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 4(2): April-June, 2013, 277-279.