Social Matter 2 – Female Foeticide – Female Infanticide
We constantly try to justify a woman’s reason of existence. She needs to live because she is our daughter, she needs to breathe because some day she will be a wife, and she needs to exist, because some day she will be a mother who’ll give birth to our sons.
Can a woman not exist simply because she is a human?
Equality starts right from conception and birth. If we eliminate half the face of humanity, the females, from this equation even before they get the chance to see the world, then what kind of a world do we hope to live in.
Every day many girls go missing before they even step into this world.
"I went missing When I was inside my mother. I think I was in there for about 4 months. It was a beautiful place, so warm and comfortable. I felt like I was the luckiest person On this planet. I felt so loved. But suddenly, something happened. Someone pulled me out. They haven't found me still. Not sure if they’re even looking"
The Indian Government imposed several laws and regulations against abortion and sex determination after thousands of girls went missing from the wombs of their mothers. Since 1994, Doctors are not allowed to tell you the sex of the baby in India so that you are truly surprised when the baby is born. Some of us have made our peace with this. If it’s a girl we make do, if it’s a boy we’re a little extra happy. Not all of us, of course, but, some of us are. Some of us also keep trying till we have one boy baby, just so that we have someone to carry on the family lineage.
But there are those, who don’t take this surprise too well.
"I've been missing since I was 2 days old. I spent the best 9 months of my life In a loving and cozy place. Finally, it was time to come out And face the world. I was very excited. But, just a day after I was born, Someone grabbed me by the neck And suddenly there was darkness I never found the light again And they never found me again."
Maybe you and I are way past this. We’ve learned to desire girl babies just as much as we desire a boy baby. Maybe we’ve learnt to be equal parents and not discriminate.
But there are those who haven’t! Not because they don’t want to, but simply because they don’t know any better. There are many who rejoice the birth of a baby boy over a girl because their culture or tradition demands them to. Historically, male child has won the race to live against female child. Kings wanted sons, so their subjects hoped for sons too. Even though we’ve come a long way from that era, there are those who are culturally rooted to the idea of a male child. Did you know that there is a custom in India where dhols (drums) are played when a boy baby is born. When I was 10 years old, my aunt had a son, there was a lot of celebration, dhol, shehnai, distributing money, and all that jazz. A couple years later, another aunt of mine had a girl baby. They were very happy. They were one of the few parents who actually wished to have a girl. I was hoping for the same kind of celebration, after all, there was a new addition to the family. But I was told that according to customs you only do all that when a boy is born – it’s called Dhindora peethna (The act of letting the word out). Has anyone else heard or experienced this custom? Have you tried to speak against it? I have, I got yelled at several times for it, but I succeeded once and I know if enough of us shun this custom, it will disappear altogether one day.
This is a very small example of how many of us are tied by traditions and our environment to have the need or a desire to have a male child or celebrate one birth more grandly over another. These small customs and traditions affect people in the villages or smaller towns more and for some turn into what we call Female Foeticide. The only way out of it is education. Educating the entire lot about equality and rights. Educating them about gender equality and opportunities that are the same for both man and woman. Introducing them to ideas that they didn’t know exist.
There are several organizations that work towards creating awareness to stop female foeticide. Because the first step is to know, so that you can act.
Here’s a list of a few organizations that you can look up and be a part of
I understand that it’s not possible for a lot of us to leave our jobs and join campaigns and organizations, it isn’t possible for me either currently, that’s why I’m doing my bit to read more about these problems and talk about them.
Female Foeticide doesn’t stop at the death of a girl child. The million girl child that get killed before birth encourages the society to suppress a million after birth, isn’t it? I would love to hear your views on female foeticide, any stories you might have to share, instances, on going campaigns, etc.
There’s a lot that people are doing to make this world more aware of the horrors of female foeticide. Do your part in creating awareness around you.
I’m going to do another article on facts, current stats, some stories I stumble upon, etc. Your suggestions are welcome.
It’s not your problem, but it’s the world’s problem. And you my dear, are a part of this world.