FEMALE FOETICIDE & THE LAW: A CRITICAL STUDY BY CHIRAGH DEVAL @LEXCLIQ

FEMALE FOETICIDE & THE LAW: A CRITICAL STUDY

INTRODUCTION

Female Foeticide is a curse, especially in rural areas of India. Abortion of a female foetus is known as female foeticide. A female Foeticide is a heinous act that has been prevalent in Indian society since the 19th century and before. There was a time when girls were considered as the human form of goddesses. But that blessing soon changed to be a curse. This soon became a major social problem in India, having cultural connections with the social evil of the dowry system, along with the other social evils against women.

If we look back in history, especially, the time when the Mughals invaded India, we can see that social evils against women increased drastically. Women were kidnapped, forced, raped, and were prey to various other crimes. The families of the bride were also expected to give heavy dowry as a condition for the happening of the marriage. During the 1970s it was widely accepted that the root of many major social and economic issues India was facing was due to its growing population. It is a sick mentality of people, even to this day, that bearing a girl child is economically disadvantageous and will only be a burden.

During the 1970s, sex screening technologies in India were easily accessible. Due to this reason, a huge number of reports started pouring in about the abuse of sex screening technologies.

They believe that a son is needed to continue the generations of the family. But they fail to realise that a female is equally needed to continue generations. The men fail to realise that their mothers are female. The females fail to realise that they too were born girl child and are very important. Despite various government rules and regulations and the enactment of the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, making sex-selective abortion illegal, female infanticide is still prevalent. The increasing gap between the male and female sex ratio is alarming. We need dire rules to strengthen the laws to throw this evil practice completely out of our society.

CAUSES

Patriarchal Society – Patriarchy refers to a social system in which men hold primary power in all spheres of life, such as political leadership, moral authority, control of property, family affairs, etc. Most of the societies in India are patriarchal and most of the patriarchal societies are patrilineal, meaning that the males inherit the property and title. Centuries of patriarchy in India have led to oppression of females and eventually to female foeticide since the early 1990s.

Dowry System – The ill-practice of dowry has very deep roots in India society. A daughter has been looked at as a liability because of the dowry system. The day a girl child is born, parents start to worry about the dowry they’re going to need to pay during her marriage and start gathering things and money for her marriage, from the very beginning. To free themselves of such burden and distress, families resort to killing the girls inside the womb.

The fallacy of Paraya Dhan-From a long time this faulty concept of papaya dhan has been followed regarding the position of women in Indian families. As soon as a girl child was born, she was considered as a “paraya dhan” which means the “property of another”. It was considered that the girl is going to go to the next house (house of her spouse) and the responsibility to take care of the girl will shift from her parents to her husband. As a result, girls were never considered as part of the family and were never given importance. And so, killing the girl child was considered as a good option to remove such a responsibility.

 CONCLUSION

Through many mediums, awareness about female infanticide is being spread throughout the nation. Many methods like advertisements, social gatherings, campaigns, government incentives, and endorsement by famous celebrities have been employed to spread awareness about the evils of femicide and the importance of a girl child and women in general. Even after this, the sex ratio of our country remains wrecked. One reason for this seems to be the thinking of the old people or the elderly people of the families who force their descendants to welcome a son in their families and not daughters. And those who don’t differentiate between sons and daughters are affected by the thinking of the society for whom having a son is an indicator of high social status. No doubt, the Parliament has enacted laws and does its best to implement the same strictly, there still remain loopholes that need to be covered properly for 100% success of the statutes. Due to this reason, the flesh trade has increased. In one way or the other, it is the female who suffers. We need to understand the importance of a female. After all, they constitute one-half of the society. They need to understand the importance of girls. They need to see that males and females are all human beings who are biologically different. They need to understand that having a girl child is an equal and even more auspicious occasion than having a boy child in the family. Unless and until society revolutionizes at large no number of laws can change the conditions of females in our society.

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