There is a peculiar allure about the female body in India: it invites violence. Sex-selective abortion was outlawed long ago, given that the sex ratio had been indicating that too many girls were ‘missing’. Indians, as a rule, do not want girls.

There is a peculiar allure about the female body in India: it invites violence. Sex-selective abortion was outlawed long ago, given that the sex ratio had been indicating that too many girls were ‘missing’. Indians, as a rule, do not want girls.

Although dowry is given as a major reason – that outlawed practice thrives and is a nightmarish prospect for less prosperous parents – it is also the idea of a son bringing salvation to the parents after their death and perpetuation of the family name that tilts the balance against girls.

Figures recorded on the National Health Profile, 2018 compared to the reports of the National Family Health Survey 4 show a marked disproportion between the number of recorded foeticide in the NHP and sex ratio in the NFHS 4.

This means that the implementation of the law against female foeticide has failed.

Neither awareness campaigns nor laws against not just sex-selective abortion but also against dowry have altered the treatment of the female as less than human. Girls should not even be born.

It is no surprise, therefore, that a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation has found India to be the most dangerous country for women in global perception. It beats all other countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia in the assessment under the three heads beginning with sexual violence that includes crimes from rape to coerced sex as a form of corruption; cultural and religious practices including female infanticide, foeticide and child marriage – dowry violence can be listed here – and human trafficking. It is as if the female body is meant to be either sexually devoured or destroyed, while being subjected to abuse in between. Misogyny creates its own cycle of crimes.

The prospect of dowry and the pointlessness of ‘investing’ in girls’ education and health may be a reason for female foeticide, and the resulting lack of girls is one of the reasons behind rapes and forced marriages.

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Female fetoside in India by Ms. Priyanka Singh 1

The persistence of negative conditions for girls also has a cumulative effect. Although individual counts may improve – the sex ratio is slightly better – India’s rank has ‘fallen’ from fourth place in the list of countries most dangerous for women in 2011 to the first in the most recent survey. True, a global perception survey may not be scientific. Would a scientific method make any difference?

Source: (telegraphindia.com)

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