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Its a Girl!

November 20, 2012

Digest this statistic – India and China eliminate more girls than are born in the U.S. every year. Annually almost 200 million girls go ‘missing’ worldwide.

Gender genocide, or female infanticide as we better know is prominent and a reality even in glitzy 21st Century super economies China and India. The century long problem for preference for a boy child, one who will carry the family name to the following generations is still a much sought after heirloom. Irrespective of class, caste or region, females are either mercilessly aborted or killed / abandoned at birth. Many even if they survive are denied basic necessities such as food, clean water and medical healthcare.

While there are numerous stories of  cruelty towards to the girl child, its social ramifications are also tormenting. Due to pressure of the one child policy in China, sex selection is common across the board, which has effectively led to 1.4 more males being born to every Chinese female. Leading to the current problem of men of a sexually mature age, not being able to find wives and as a result, importing brides from less affluent regions. The dowry system in India, which bodes that a girl has to deliver immense wealth to her husband on the day of their marriage, makes many parents not want to have girl children for fear of poverty in their old age.

While government policies in either country have done nothing to aid the preference of a girl, women in both India and China are known to work doubly hard to prove themselves and break through the glass ceiling. Cursory measures which look good on paper, show China and India to modern, equality based nations, however the reality on the ground pens another story.

Stringent reforms need to be brought into place, cultural attitudes and prejudices need to be wiped out and women need to be given the chance of a clean slate. Easy words for us to type, much more difficult to implement a change.

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