Friday, April 18, 2014

India's Infanticide Shame

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday the country should be ashamed of its frequent abortions of female fetuses, a practice that is widespread because of the country's deep-seated cultural preference for boys. Every year, an estimated 500,000 female fetuses are aborted because of their gender, due in part to the traditional belief that sons will better support their parents when they are old.
“This is a national shame and we must face this challenge squarely here and now. No nation, no society, no community can hold its head high and claim to be part of the civilized world if it condones the practice of discriminating against one half of humanity represented by women,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated at a conference on ways to “Save the girl child” on Monday (Google/Associated Press).
The case of infanticide in India closely mirrors the case of infanticide in China, due to the high social desire for boys, which are seen as, however while China's ‘one baby policy’ compounds the the situation, there is little difference in the plight of unborn females in either country. While infanticide is more widespread in rural populations, it is not only a rural issue and effects all social classes due to the culmination of both social stigma attached to girls and poverty. Girls are seen as an a burden, while boys are looked upon as an investment, and thus the gender balance in the country has heavily shifted. Now many rural areas has such hard populations of males versus females that finding a bride is often a challenge.
This public outcry over India's continual blind eye to the large scale use of infanticide is a major step in the right direction to not only ending the large scale use of this practice, but to saving the future stability of a nation.
Please see my previous post, India's Missing Girls for more information and background on the situation of infanticide in India. 

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