March 27, 2010
Gender Selective Abortion on the Rise in India
From the Christian Science Monitor:
…[R]ecent research suggests gender selection
abortion is on the rise. Actionaid and Canada's International Development Research Centre found in 2008 that in 4 of the 5 states surveyed–Punjab, Haryana,
The reasons why boys are so longed for vary
somewhat by region. In agricultural societies like Nandgaon, boys inherit the
land. In urban India, a trend toward
Underlying the preference for sons is a belief that girls are liabilities who require protection and fat dowries. Though the practice of paying a husband and his family for marrying a girl was banned in 1961, dowry violence – when a woman is abused in her in-laws’ home for paying an insufficient price – is on the rise, according to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Even in families that do not pay dowries, and where
girls may be well educated and lucratively employed, females tend to be viewed
as burdensome because they are perceived as requiring more care and protection
than men, says Puneet Bedi, an obstetrician and campaigner against female
feticide based in New Delhi.
“Everyone wants boys – not just the rich,” he says. “But it is the rich who can easily afford to access the technology.”
Hat Tip: E.R.
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