Grim consequences

Female feticide in India skews population numbers

Young Indian women walk past a billboard in New Delhi encouraging the birth of girls. RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images

 

In India, the practice of female feticide is causing a major disparity in the female to male ratio, according to a new report. The deeply ingrained cultural preference for boys in India has greatly skewed the gender demographic and, out of desperation, the men are now reportedly importing and essentially enslaving women. Although it is not legal, many pregnant women are reportedly being forced to take a gender determination test, and then they are often forced to have an abortion if the test reveals that the fetus is female. A 2011 study found that 12 million Indian female fetuses had been aborted in the past 30 years. A similarly jarring U.N. report found that there was an average of 7,000 girls killed in the womb or soon after birth every day in India. As a result, there is a serious decline in the number of women in the country and, particularly in western states, men are driven to import brides known as ‘paros’ from more impoverished regions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Save Daughters, Educate Daughters’ initiative and the village of Biwipur started the very successful #selfiewithdaughter campaign, which was amplified by Modi, on social media to raise awareness.

Read the full story at Al Jazeera.

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