India's Disappearing Daughters

The land of former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi is killing its daughters by the millions. Economically resurgent India is witnessing a rapid unfolding of a female genocide in the making across all castes and classes, including the upper caste rich and the educated. The situation is particularly alarming among upper-caste Hindus in some of the urban areas of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, specially in parts of Punjab, where there are only 300 girls for every 1,000 boys, according to Laura Turquet, ActionAid's women's rights policy official.

ActionAid collaborated with Canada's International Development Research Center (IDRC) to conduct research and produced a report called "Disappearing Daughters".

The report cites findings from sites across five states in north and northwest India reveal that the sex ratio of girls to boys has not only worsened but is accelerating compared to the last national census in 2001. One of the reasons for this accelerated rate of female feticide is the abuse of ultrasound technology to determine the gender of the unborn. The purveyors of the ultrasound business in every city, town and village of India entice parents by telling them to "spend 500 rupees now and save 50,000 rupees later.” The cost of the ultrasound scan is Rs. 500 and the required dowry for marrying daughters off exceeds Rs. 50,000.00.

And everywhere else, with the exception of Rajasthan, already low figures are continuing to slide. Even in Rajasthan, the proportion of girls is well below what should be the norm of around 950 girls born for every 1000 boys.

ActionAid has also found that girls are more likely to be born but less likely to survive in areas with more limited access to public health services and modern ultrasound technology. In rural Morena and Dhaulpur, deliberate neglect of girls, including allowing the umbilical cord to become infected, is used as a way to dispose of unwanted daughters.

Such neglect ensures fewer surviving daughters, with the best chances of being born and surviving as a girl depending on the birth order in your family.

All survey sites showed a decline in the proportion of girls among second-born children. And in three of the survey sites, for every 1000 third-born boys, there were fewer than 750 girls.

The problem of female infanticide is not just limited to the states in Northern India. In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, female infanticide is so frequent that all second daughters are known as "the girl born for the burial pit", according to a documentary produced by ABC Australia.

The Indian diaspora is not immune from the cultural bias against female children, either. The male-female ratios of British Indians are also getting increasingly skewed in favor of male children. Since the 1970s, the at-birth male-female ratio of British Indians has dramatically change from 103:100 to 114.4:100, excluding the birth of the first or the second child.


Here are the latest statistics from the CIA's The World Factbook on male-female ratios in India and Pakistan:

India at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Pakistan at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

China at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

The at-birth male-female ratios in Pakistan are comparable to most of the rest of the world, including the West, but the Indian ratios are the worst in the world. In spite of China's one child policy, the ratios in China are better than India's.

India Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh, who has three daughters, has recognized the accelerating horror of female genocide in India. In response, he has launched the “Save the Girl Child” campaign. He has said that no nation could claim to be part of a civilized world if it condoned female feticide. An estimated 50 million girls have been sacrificed because of son preference.

"Census figures illustrate that in some of the richer states the problem is most acute. These states include Punjab which had only 798 girls (per 1,000 boys), Haryana 819, Delhi 868 and Gujarat 883 girls in the 2001 Census. Growing economic prosperity and education levels have not led to a corresponding mitigation in this acute problem," he said.

"Female illiteracy, obscurantist social practices like child marriage or early marriage, dowry, poor nutritional entitlements, taboos on women in public places make Indian women vulnerable. The patriarchal mindset and preference for male children is compounded by unethical conduct on the part of some medical practitioners," Mr. Singh said.

When the facts of this tragedy are brought up, many defensive Indians offer the examples of famous Indian women like Indra Nooyi, Kalpana Chawla, Saina Nehwal, Kalpana Morparia, Sunita Williams and Naina Lal, and ask how India is still able to produce such women of accomplishment with growing female infanticides. Instead of looking at the accomplished middle-aged Indian women, Indians should compare the at-birth male-female ratios and worry about the fact that India is now killing future Indra Nooyis.

If this female genocide continues unabated, India's male-female ratio will be so badly skewed in a decade or two that girls' families will start demanding dowry to marry off their daughters, representing a fundamental shift in the balance of power. And the contributions of the well-educated and economically string girls will earn new respect by the male-dominated Indian society.

The first step toward correcting a problem is to acknowledge it, as India's prime minister has done. But legislation alone will not help. As early as 1795, female infanticide was declared murder by the initiative of John Duncan, the British East India Company's resident in Benares, according to Dharma Kumar. But the enforcement has been extremely difficult. The key is to couple stricter enforcement with grassroots education effort to change Indian society.

My sincere hope is that men of honor and goodwill such as Manmohan Singh will step up their national campaign to stop this ongoing female genocide in India before it's too late.

Here are a couple of video clips about India's female genocide:




Related Links:

Status of Women in Pakistan

A Woman Speaker: Another Token or Real Change

"Disappearing Daughters"

The World Factbook

India's Save a Girl Child Campaign

Comments

pakiterroristan said…
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Anonymous said…
Begging bowl to get bigger and deeper for the terrorist beggars!!!!!!!


Pakistan’s Exports Decline for Eighth Straight Month (Update1)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aQ_U5gaGw3fI
By Khalid Qayum

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s exports fell in June for the eighth straight months as the worst global recession since the Great Depression damped demand for the nation’s products.

Shipments from South Asia’s second-largest economy declined 19.4 percent from a year earlier to $1.54 billion are dropping 21.9 percent in the previous month, according to the statistics bureau. Imports tumbled 17 percent to $3.34 billion, taking the trade deficit to $1.8 billion.

Pakistan exporters are struggling to find buyers for the nation’s textiles and rice amid what the World Trade Organization says will be the worst contraction in global trade since World War II. HSBC Holdings Plc expects Pakistan’s $146 billion economy to expand as little as 0.8 percent in the year to June 2010, the weakest pace since 1952.

Overseas sales from Pakistan are being hit as “competitors elsewhere take an even greater share of a shrinking export market,” said Frederic Neumann, a senior economist at HSBC in Hong Kong.

Textile manufacturers in Pakistan compete against producers in other Asian nations including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Vietnam for sales in the U.S. and Europe, which are both in recession. Sri Lanka’s exports have declined for five straight months, falling 28.2 percent in April from a year earlier.

Cotton spinners in Pakistan and elsewhere still view the business outlook for the current quarter with a “great deal of caution,” according to a quarterly survey by Cotlook Ltd.

‘Optimism Faded’

“Optimism of a swift turnaround in fortunes seems to have faded in Pakistan, in the face of a slump in the pace of recent yarn orders,” Cotlook said in a statement on July 9.

Pakistan’s exports fell 6.7 percent to $17.8 billion in the full year to June 30 and imports declined 12.9 percent to $34.8 billion. The trade gap narrowed 18.5 percent to $17 billion, according to government figures.
Riaz Haq said…
In a recently published book "Superfreakonomics", the authors cite two American economists' finding that cable TV in 2700 households empowered Indian women to be more autonomous. Cable TV households had lower birthrates, less domestic abuse and kept daughter in school. Here are some more highlight from the book about India:

1. If women could choose their birthplace, India might not a wise choice to be born.

2. In spite of recent economic success and euphoria about India, the people of India remain excruciatingly poor.

3. Literacy is low, corruption is high.

4. Only half the households have electricity.

5. Only one in 4 Indian homes has a toilet.

6. 40% of families with girls want to have more children, but families with boys do not want a baby girl.

7. It's especially unlucky to be born female, baby boy is like a 401 K retirement plan, baby girl requires a dowry fund.

8. Smile train Chennai did cleft repair surgery. A man was asked how many children he had. He said had 1, a boy. It turned out that he had 5 daughters which he did not mention.

9. Indian midwives paid $2.50 to kill girl with cleft deformity

10. Girls are highly undervalued, there are 35 million fewer females than males, presumed dead, killed by midwife or parent or starved to death. Unltrasound are used mainly to find and destroy female fetuses. Ultrasound and abortion are available even in the smallest villages with no electricity or clean water

11. If not aborted, baby girls face inequality and cruelty at every turn,

12. 61% of Indian men say wife beating is justified, 54% women agree, especially when dinner is burned or they leave home without husband's permission.

13. Unwanted pregnancies, STDs, HIV infections happen when 15% o the condoms fail. Indian council of med research found that 60% of Indian men's genitalia are too small by international standards.

14. Indian laws to protect women are widely ignored. The government has tried monetary rewards to keep baby girls and supported microfinance for women. NGOs programs, smaller condoms, other projects have had limited success.

15. People had little interest in State TV due to poor reception or boring programs. But cable television has helped women, as 150 million people between 2001-2006 got cable
TV which gave exposure to world.

16. American economists found that the effect of TV in 2700 households empowered women to be more autonomous. Cable TV households had lower birthrates, less domestic abuse and kept daughter in school.
Riaz Haq said…
Little girls bear the brunt in #India's vicious cycle of malnutrition. Half are stunted #gendergap http://reut.rs/1N5dPEz via @ReutersIndia
Despite India's economic boom over the last two decades, 46 percent of its children under five are underweight, 48 percent are stunted and 25 percent are wasted, according to the latest government figures.

Child malnutrition is an underlying cause of death for 3 million children annually across the world - nearly half of all child deaths - with most dying from preventable illnesses like diarrhoea due to weak immune systems, according to the United Nations Children's Fund.

Those lucky enough to survive, grow up without enough energy, protein, vitamins and minerals, causing their brains and bodies to be stunted which means they cannot fulfill their physical, academic or economic potential.

The problem of malnutrition starts well before birth in countries such as India, where there are high rates of child marriage, despite the age-old practice being illegal.

About 47 percent of women aged between 20 and 24 were married before the age of 18 in India, according to the latest government figures.

The custom hampers efforts to improve women's status, as it cuts across every part of a girl's development and creates a vicious cycle of malnutrition, poor health and ignorance, gender experts say.

A child bride is more likely to drop out of school and have serious complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Her children are more likely to be underweight and may be lucky to survive beyond the age of five.
Riaz Haq said…
BBC News - #India abortion: Police find 19 #female foetuses. #gender #Genocide
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-39176668

Police in the western Indian state of Maharashtra have found 19 aborted female foetuses near a hospital.
Senior police officials in Sangli district said the remains were "buried with the intention of disposing them".
The police told the BBC that they found the foetuses while they were investigating the death of a woman who had undergone an illegal abortion.
Activists say the incident proves yet again that female foeticide is rampant in India despite awareness campaigns.
The police said that the woman had died in a "botched abortion", and they were looking for the foetus near a local hospital when they made the grisly discovery.
"It appears to be an abortion racket. We have arrested the husband of the woman, and have launched a manhunt for the doctor who has gone missing," Dattatray Shinde, superintendent of police, told the BBC.
Similar cases have come to light in the past.
Eight female foetuses were found in 2012 in a plastic bag near a lake in Indore city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
In June 2009, 15 female foetuses were found in drains in Maharashtra's Beed district.
Dr Ganesh Rakh, who campaigns to save the female child and appeared in the BBC's Unsung Indians series, said the recent case proves that illegal sex determination and abortion was still practised in India.
"This is horrifying. Female foeticide is happening at the scale of a genocide in India. This case proves that people still prefer boys and girls are still unwanted," he said.
"I think abortions were happening on a large scale in Sangli. Once the doctor is arrested, I fear we will find more aborted female foetuses."
Sex-selective abortion and sex-determination tests are illegal in India, where there is a widespread social preference for boys.
Riaz Haq said…
Was Gandhi a misogynist? The answer is yes.

Gandhi believed Indian women who were raped lost their value as human beings. He argued that fathers could be justified in killing daughters who had been sexually assaulted for the sake of family and community honour. He moderated his views towards the end of his life. But the damage was done, and the legacy lingers in every present-day Indian press report of a rape victim who commits suicide out of "shame". Gandhi also waged a war against contraceptives, labelling Indian women who used them as whores.

Gandhi cemented, for another generation, the attitude that women were simply creatures that could bring either pride or shame to the men who owned them. Again, the legacy lingers. India today, according to the World Economic Forum, finds itself towards the very bottom of the gender equality index. Indian social campaigners battle heroically against such patriarchy. They battle dowry deaths. They battle the honour killings of teenage lovers. They battle Aids. They battle female foeticide and the abandonment of new-born girls.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jan/27/mohandas-gandhi-women-india

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