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We spoke to Rachita on episode 9 of “We’re Not Crazy, You Are!” on the staggering prevalence and effects of female foeticide in India.
Female foeticide is the selective abortion of female children after their sex is determined during pregnancy.
It is as a result of gender-biased social construction that views female children as less valuable than male children.
In a patriarchal society, Female children are seen as a liability because they will be married off to another family while male children are viewed as assets since they remain in the family.
Female children are perceived not to contribute to the family financially. This practice is intensified by the dowry system in South Asia, the part of the world with the highest female foeticide statistics.
Most families in South Asia view female children as a financial loss due to their culture of paying dowry upon their marriage – This patriarchal society we live in evaluates women’s possible worth before they are born and sometimes, decides if they should live based on their estimated worth and usefulness.
The notion that female children are an economic burden and the cultural norm of daughters paying dowry have created a society where the preference of having a male child makes people seek illegal means to terminate pregnancies once the sex is female – This has led to a high sex ratio prioritizing male lives over female lives.
The “Sex Ratio at Birth” is an indicator of the extent to which sex-selective abortion is happening. The average SRB for the entire world is 101 males per 100 females. China (117.8), Azerbaijan (115.6) and India (110.5) are prime examples of a highly distorted sex ratio at birth and, this can largely be attributed to sex-selective abortions.
Female children are just as valuable as male children. It is devastating to think the basis for deciding whether or not to have a child could be the sex of the said child. What shallow, cruel motivations.