“If abortion is about women’s rights,” asked abortion survivor Gianna Jessen at a 2015 House Judiciary Committee Hearing, “then what were mine?”Source: Hillsdale Collegian
Can you imagine that China has has 30 million more men than women? This staggering statement was made by Chinese journalist and author of One Child, Mei Fong who added, “30 million bachelors who cannot find brides.” I’m not sure when he said this but five years later, the numbers hadn’t changed. And in India, the statistics were the same until 2021. The girls were missing. What happened to them? Why were there more males than females? The answer is very chilling.
Researchers Therese Hesketh, Li Lu, and Zhu Wei Xi have revealed that in China there is clear evidence that sex-selective abortion accounts for the overwhelming number of ‘missing women.’ In a climate where cultural prejudice against female offspring exists, it’s not surprising that female infanticide has been common practice within many parts of Asia. Why are male children favored more? Hesketh, Lu, and Xi explained why. “Sons are preferred because they have a higher wage-earning capacity (especially in agrarian economies), they continue the family line, and they usually take responsibility for care of parents in illness and old age.” Another reason is dowry. Girls require dowry which could be expensive for families. The society is a patriarchal one which means that men are overvalued and women are undervalued.
When China had its one child policy, people chose sons. Female fetuses and were killed in Asia which led to the sex radio imbalance which by the way are affecting the males whom they prefer. If there are not enough females for these males to marry, what happens then? They will most likely marry women from other countries.
In Times of India, there is an article which says that Indians want a boy and a girl but would prefer to have two boys over two girls. So, even though, they are willing to have a daughter the preference for a son is still there. This whole idea that boys are better than girls is foolishness. I, personally have always wanted to have two children-a boy and a girl, not necessarily in that order but I didn’t get pregnant until I was 40. I will admit that since I was probably going to have just one child because of my age and the risk of not having a healthy child was high, I decided that I wanted my child to be a boy. And it was.
Unfortunately, I lost him in 2019 when he was only 11. I’m in my 50s so having another child is out of the question for me. The point is that even if I was in favor of abortion, which I’m not, I wouldn’t have had one if the ultrasound had revealed that I was going to have a girl. So, it’s hard for me to understand how a woman could abort her child because of gender. Every child is precious, whether it is a boy or a girl. Sadly, we live in a culture where gender inequality still exists. Women earn less than men. In some countries, if parents can only afford to send one child to school, it’s usually the boy. Many opportunities are denied for girls in favor of boys and this needs to stop.
Awareness for female infanticide is still be raised which is a good thing. The TV show, Wagle Ki Duniya will tackle this topic in one of their episodes. In the episode, Champa Mausi, Vandana’s aunt and her daughter-in-law Kirti arrive at the Wagle residence from their hometown for Champa Mausi’s cataract operation. However, the real reason for the visit is that Kirti is pregnant and it is suspected that she is carrying a girl. Champa Mausi and her family are disappointed about this and have brought Kirti in town for abortion. Meanwhile Kirti will do her best to prevent it. In this case, the pregnant woman is forced to have the abortion. How many women are forced to have abortions because their families want them to? And how many women have wanted to keep their newborn baby girls but were powerless to prevent their murders?
Female infanticide is an issue that is very close to the hearts of the show’s stars, Pariva Pranati and Sumeet Raghavan who play characters, Vandana and Rajesh, the parents of a daughter who decide to fight for the life of the innocent child and join hands with Kirti in teaching Champa Mausi a lesson. Sumeet Raghavan is the proud father of a girl who is the light of his life. “I can’t imagine my life without her. Having a daughter is a blessing, and I’m not sure why people make up rubbish about them being a burden. No! Daughters are not a burden. They’re a family’s pride! There’s nothing daughters cannot achieve. A daughter’s love is like no other. She is the one who becomes your support when you need her, on whom you can rely on, can depend on. Daughters can do everything sons can. So why the discrimination? I hope that through our show, we make people realise that having a daughter is something to be proud of.”
Pariva Pranati, his co-star and on-screen wife shares his views. “It breaks my heart as a woman to see how some people see having a daughter as a bad thing. It’s even sadder to see some mothers themselves frowning upon the news of a daughter being born. We daughters are far more capable than what society believes us to be. I consider myself fortunate to be a woman who had parents who not only let me be born but gave me the world to help me become who I am today. Killing unborn or newborn born girls because they’re a burden is heinous. Women are more than capable of standing on their own two feet and caring for the entire family if the need arises. Just give your daughter a chance and see her conquer the world. Through our show, I wish to make people appreciate the significance of a daughter.”
I sincerely hope that their show addressing this issue, will make a difference. Female infanticide should be criminalized and sex selective abortions as well. Every child has the right to live. In the very soon future, I pray that we will no longer need to ask the question “where are the girls?” because they will be with their families, in schools, universities, workplaces and communities, fulfilling their God given potential.
Source: Times of India