FEMALE FOETICIDE: AN ANTROCIOUS TRUTH

Written By- Saman Asif, KIIT School of Law

When the life begins inside the mother’s womb, the little one in there is completely unaware of the outside world, for them, it would be the safest place they know, filled with warmth and love. Completely unaware of the evil that exists outside, some life ends before it even begins. A term given to this dreadful act is “Female Foeticide”.The term ‘female Foeticide’ means to kill a female fetus after determining its sex, the determination of which is done through medical examination of the fetus through ultrasound and the baby is aborted by means of surgery or medications. It is a kind of practice which is being followed since ancient times and till date.

This is the atrocious truth of our Indian society and the patriarchal mindsets of people which could force someone to cross all the boundaries of humanity. The instances of which can be traced in certain incidents that took place over the last decade. For example, A women carrying a black plastic bag and throwing it in the river, trying to control her emotions but could not as the bag that she just threw away carried all her dreams, love and life. Yes, the bag carried her dead baby whom she always loved and nurtured in her womb and was unaware that her husband and in-laws would kill the baby after knowing it to be a female. Or what would have happened to the mother who was drugged and made to undergo termination of her pregnancy and saw her dead baby being fed to dogs?

The root cause of this heinous crime lies nowhere other than the pathetic mindsets of the people of our country, who considers a female child to be a menace. The main cause of this mindset are:-

Dowry:

As per the tradition and culture of our society, people are forced to give dowry at the time of their daughter’s marriage, which creates an image of a girl being a burden to the family. There are earlier instances where the pamphlets were distributed which contained slogans like “ Spend 500 and become free from paying 50,000” which promoted female foeticide at large. But was banned post the enactment of the PC-PNDT Act, 1994.

Cultural Preference:

The families generally prefer male child for various social and economic reasons as they could become a good source of income for their family and would also continue the family bloodline. The sons are considered to look after their parents during their old age whereas daughters are considered as burdens as at first, they have to look after the half of her life and then give her away to her in-laws.

Even today during 21st Century this problem still exists and it connotes that the patriarchal mindset of people has not really changed. This is the main cause of declining sex ratio in our country, so there must be certain measures which should be taken to prevent the sex-selective abortions, they are as follows:-

Education:

Education is the key to the development of mind and society, through education a person’s way of thinking can be changed, it gives the knowledge of the world and leads one from darkness to light. So the government must take proper measures to provide education to all.

Women Empowerment:

As the women are our society have always been a subjugated class, women empowerment is the beginning of the end of the patriarchal society. If a woman is empowered enough to be independent and look after herself and her family, then slowly but steadily the change will come and gender inequalities will come to an end. One of the best examples of the initiative taken by the government it the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme, the Scheme is to celebrate the girl child and enable her education. The objectives of the Scheme are as under:

i) To prevent gender biased sex-selective elimination.

ii) To ensure survival and protection of the girl child

iii) To ensure education and participation of the girl child.

Implementation of Laws:

Even after the pre-natal sex determination in India is made illegal under section 23 in The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection)] Act, 1994 this practice has not come to an end. Even the medical practitioners play a vital role in the commission of such offences.

Creating Awareness:

Making people aware will give them an insight into their beliefs and whether they are positive or negative. To make the people aware a is the key ingredient for development, empowerment and implementation of laws. The government and other organizations must organize awareness campaigns among the people of our society.

The change in the society may take time as the evil is so deeply rooted, but it will come one day if the proper measures are taken. We must never give up and always try to Save the Girl Child! Apart from this, The Dowry Prohibition Act,1961 still lacks implementation and it did not change the mindset of the people that dowry is prohibited so, the girl’s child would not be a burden to her family.