Sexism targeting baby girls, “a nation-wide problem” in India

Publié le : 12 April 2013

In India, women are subjected to outright discrimination in the workplace and the home, and "abortions and infanticides are becoming a nation-wide problem." "The United Nations estimates at around 500,000 each year the number of terminations of pregnancy intended to prevent the birth of a girl," abortions that are "carried out in secret and in dubious conditions by doctors with few scruples. And infanticides are dramatically frequent."         
According to the journalist, "this prenatal and postnatal discrimination increased as soon as women gained access to methods enabling the sex of the child to be identified, thus leading to numerous abortions." And a survey carried out by the NGO Action Women of India in New Delhi revealed that this practice can be found in all classes in India and "
even the most educated women can go through more than eight abortions to be sure of giving birth to a boy.

Yet a law passed in 1994 on the techniques of prenatal diagnosis "prohibits the use of tests determining the sex of the foetus to decide on an abortion," and on 4 May 2001, the Supreme Court of India issued a directive to urge respect for this law of 1994. Moreover, "the government tried to launch the Conditional Cash Scheme (an allowance based on the sex of the child)" whereby "each newborn girl registered will receive 5,000 rupees." However, corruption within the government and the police has stymied these initiatives of the authorities: "Those who break the law often manage to avoid going to court, while many doctors and clinics secretly carry out tests to determine the sex of the foetus for a fee.   
Religious institutions try to take action. For example, "
some temples now place cradles by their doors so that those who refuse their baby girl can leave her in it, rather than abandon or kill her.

Share this article

BIOETHICS PRESS SYNTHESIS