Female Infanticide in India Essay
Pending FEMALE INFANTICIDE WHICH IS RAMPANT IN SOME PARTS OF INDIA AND CHINA RESEARCH METHODOLOGY & FUNDAMENTALS OF MARKET RESEARCH – MMS 1 (2011-12) NAME: SUBHASHISH CHAKRABORTY ROLL NO: 653 In third world countries such as India infanticide of females is common. There have been laws outlawing both infanticide and determining the sex of babies if it is not medically necessary, however it still continues.
The killing of female babies has led to many ethical and social issues. Infanticide has also lead to an imbalance in the ratio of men to woman in India. For every 100 males born there are 105 females born however, most females are killed within 3 days after their birth making the new ratio 93 females for every 100 males. Even though laws and programs have been established to decrease the number of female infanticide it still continues. In India in 1994 determining the sex of foetuses was outlawed if it wasn’t deemed medically necessary. However, ultrasounds are still used to determine the sex of a baby illegally.
Couples and doctors alike make excuses and come up with cover stories to justify an ultrasound. Even though ultrasounds are used to save lives of babies in India they are more known to kill babies. At home tests that tell parents the gender of their baby are sold online from a site that is based in the United States. The tests cost $25 and can detect the sex of a fetus as early as five weeks into a pregnancy. If a couple knows the sex of the baby prenatally and are not happy with sex they often resort to abortions or other methods of infanticide.
In India abortions are considered a business which is low in risk and high in profit. In India a woman can get an abortion for about 1,500 rupee and even though abortions are illegal doctors still perform them daily. Summary: The phenomenon of female infanticide is as old as many cultures, and has likely accounted for millions of gender-selective deaths throughout history. It remains a critical concern in a number of “Third World” countries today, notably the two most populous countries on earth, China and India.
In all cases, specifically female infanticide reflects the low status accorded to women in most parts of the world; it is arguably the most brutal and destructive manifestation of the antifemale bias that pervades “patriarchal” societies. It is closely linked to the phenomena of sex-selective abortion, which targets female fetuses almost exclusively, and neglect of girl children. “Female infanticide is the intentional killing of baby girls due to the preference for male babies and from the low value associated with the birth of females. ” (Marina Porras, “Female Infanticide and Foeticide”. It should be seen as a subset of the broader phenomenon of infanticide, which has also targeted the physically or mentally handicapped, and infant males (alongside infant females or, occasionally, on a gender-selective basis). Focus (1): India As John-Thor Dahlburg points out, “in rural India, the centuries-old practice of female infanticide can still be considered a wise course of action. ” (Dahlburg, “Where killing baby girls ‘is no big sin’,” The Los Angeles Times [in The Toronto Star, February 28, 1994. ]) According to census statistics, “From 972 females for every 1,000 males in 1901 … he gender imbalance has tilted to 929 females per 1,000 males. … In the nearly 300 poor hamlets of the Usilampatti area of Tamil Nadu [state], as many as 196 girls died under suspicious circumstances [in 1993]. The bias against females in India is related to the fact that “Sons are called upon to provide the income; they are the ones who do most of the work in the fields. In this way sons are looked to as a type of insurance. With this perspective, it becomes clearer that the high value given to males decreases the value given to females. ” (Marina Porras, “Female Infanticide and Foeticide”. The problem is also intimately tied to the institution of dowry, in which the family of a prospective bride must pay enormous sums of money to the family in which the woman will live after marriage. Though formally outlawed, the institution is still pervasive. “The combination of dowry and wedding expenses usually add up to more than a million rupees ([US] $35,000). In India the average civil servant earns about 100,000 rupees ($3,500) a year. Given these figures combined with the low status of women, the reason becomes all the more severe that the poorer Indian families would want only male children. (Porras, “Female Infanticide and Foeticide”). Dahlburg notes that “In Jaipur, capital of the western state of Rajasthan, prenatal sex determination tests result in an estimated 3,500 abortions of female fetuses annually,” according to a medical-college study. (Dahlburg, “Where killing baby girls ‘is no big sin’. “) Most strikingly, according to UNICEF, “A report from Bombay in 1984 on abortions after prenatal sex determination stated that 7,999 out of 8,000 of the aborted fetuses were females.
Sunita Kishor reports “another disturbing finding,” namely “that, despite the increased ability to command essential food and medical resources associated with development, female children [in India] do not improve their survival chances relative to male children with gains in development. Relatively high levels of agricultural development decrease the life chances of females while leaving males’ life chances unaffected; urbanization increases the life chances of males more than females. …
Clearly, gender-based discrimination in the allocation of resources persists and even increases, even when availability of resources is not a constraint. ” (Kishor, “‘May God Give Sons to All’: Gender and Child Mortality in India,” American Sociological Review, 58: 2 [April 1993], p. 262. ) Indian state governments have sometimes taken measures to stop infanticide and abortions of female fetuses. “The leaders of Tamil Nadu are holding out a tempting carrot to couples in the state with one or two daughters and no sons: if one parent undergoes sterilization, the government will give the family [U.
S. ] \\$160 in aid per child. The money will be paid in instalments as the girl goes through school. She will also get a small gold ring and on her 20th birthday, a lump sum of $650 to serve as her dowry or defray the expenses of higher education. Four thousand families enrolled in the first year,” with 6,000 to 8,000 expected to join annually (as of 1994) (Dahlburg, “Where killing baby girls ‘is no big sin’. “) Such programs have, however, barely begun to address the scale of the catastrophe. Focus (2): China
A number of strategies have been proposed and implemented to try to address the problem of female infanticide, along with the related phenomena of sex-selective abortion and abandonment and neglect of girl children. The principle of equality between men and women should be more widely promoted through the news media to change the attitude of son preference and improve the awareness of the general public on this issue; the principle should also be reflected in specific social and economic policies to protect the basic rights of women and children, especially female children.
Government regulations prohibiting the use of prenatal sex identification techniques for non-medical purposes should be strictly enforced, and violators should be punished accordingly. The laws that punish people who commit infanticide, abandonment, and neglect of female children, and the laws and regulations on the protection of women and children should be strictly enforced.
Family planning programs should focus on effective public education, good counseling and service delivery, and the fully voluntary participation of the community and individuals to increase contraceptive prevalence, reduce unplanned pregnancies, and minimize the need for an induced abortion. (Zeng, et al. , p. 298. ) http://www. gendercide. org/case_infanticide. html The world population has a sex ratio of 990 females per 1000 males Sex ratio: Japan 1041 USA 1029 Indonesia 1004 Bangladesh 953 China 944 India 933 India has one of the lowest sex ratios in the world