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Female Foeticide and Female Infanticide

In India, primarily in rural communities, individuals do not appreciate the birth of girl children and implement the acts of female foeticide and female infanticide. These are the criminal and violent acts against girls. Foeticide is the killing of a female child, even before she is born. Whereas, female infanticide is killing of the female children within one year of birth.

One of the major causes that these acts have been put into operation is, that individuals give preference to male children and do not appreciate the birth of girls. These acts deprive the girls of the basic right, which is the right to live. To lead to the well-being and progression of individuals and the growth and development of communities and the nation as a whole, it is necessary to formulate measures, laws and policies to eliminate these acts.

The individuals, belonging to rural communities and deprived, marginalized and economically weaker sections of society, need to be adequately aware of these measures, policies and laws. The main areas that have been taken into account in this research paper include, understanding the meaning of female foeticide and female infanticide, the causes of female foeticide and female infanticide, and measures to curb the acts of female foeticide and female infanticide.

Female infanticide occurs every year in some rural communities. The Government of India and various state governments have implemented measures and programs to alleviate this criminal act. The states, where this problem is prevalent are Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Bihar. The individuals need to generate awareness that instead of killing the girl children, they need to form positive viewpoints and pay attention towards their effective growth and development (Female Foeticide and Infanticide, n.d.).

One of the major causes for the practice of this act is, girls are considered liabilities and individuals prefer male children. Therefore, they need to augment their understanding in terms of the fact that girls should be regarded as assets. When parents pay attention to leading to their effective growth and development, they can render a significant contribution to promoting the well-being of their families and communities. Therefore, it is vital to eliminate the acts of female foeticide and female infanticide. In other words, girls should be allowed to live.

Female foeticide is the abortion of the girl foetus in the womb, before its complete growth. Female foeticide is referred to as the most heinous criminal act. In India, individuals in some communities regard the birth of a girl child as degrading and appreciate the birth of male children. The individuals usually, belonging to deprived, marginalized and underprivileged sections of society aim to enhance their living conditions.

They form the viewpoint that when they will have male children in their homes, they will send them to schools and provide good-quality education to them. When they will acquire a good education, they will get engaged in employment opportunities, which will help in augmenting the status of their families. The individuals prefer small families. As when there will be a lesser number of children within the families, the parents will be able to contribute effectively in leading to their well-being. Hence, they prefer male children.

Female infanticide is a crime, which deprives the girl children of the basic right, which is the right to live. In simple terms, it is the deliberate attempt to kill newborn female children within a period of one year from their birth. It is a century-old phenomenon, which has become prevalent within the country. The major causes, which has led to an increase in this practice are the conditions of poverty, illiteracy, child marriage, dowry system, births to unmarried women, female genital mutilation, deprivation, maternal illness, sex-selective abortion and so forth.

Causes of Female Foeticide and Female Infanticide

The causes of female foeticide and female infanticide have been stated as follows:
  1. Poverty and Backwardness:

    When individuals are residing in conditions of poverty and backwardness, they form the view that if they will have girl children in the family, they will experience problems particularly in meeting the expenses, which are required for their effective growth and development.
  2. Illiteracy and Unawareness:

    It is comprehensively understood that education makes provision of knowledge and arouses understanding among the individuals that they should inculcate the traits of morality and ethics, provide equal rights and opportunities to both boys and girls and not discriminate against anyone. Illiteracy and unawareness are also regarded as important factors that have led to the encouragement of female foeticide and female infanticide.
  3. Discrimination against Girl Children:

    Girl children are discriminated against in some rural communities. Discrimination against girl children enables individuals and families to give preference to male children. Discrimination against girl children is one of the most critical causes that enable individuals to practice female foeticide and female infanticide.
  4. Religious Beliefs:

    The influence of religion leads to a strong influence on innumerable philosophies and traditional viewpoints and perspectives (Kushwaha & Sharma, 2014). Among families in primarily rural communities and some cases in urban communities as well, there is a prevalence of strong religious beliefs that male children should be born in the family.
  5. Girls will not Provide Social Security to Parents:

    There is a prevalence of the viewpoint that girls will not provide social security to parents. In primarily old age, parents need support and assistance from their children regarding several factors.
  6. Legal Causes:

    The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994 was passed 18 years ago due to the alarming increase in the killing of female foetuses by the latest means of scientific technologies.
  7. Bringing about Improvements in Living Standards:

    The individuals and families, belonging to deprived, marginalized and economically weaker sections of society have the main objective of bringing about improvements in their living standards.
  8. Dowry Harassment:

    Dowry harassment is one of the major criminal and violent acts that are put into practice by the families of the grooms when the families of the brides are unable to fulfil the dowry demands. Research has indicated that women usually have to undergo mistreatment and various forms of criminal and violent acts. they will be unable to meet the dowry demands, they carry out the practices of female foeticide and female infanticide.
  9. Cultural Belief of Carrying forward the Family Name:

    Individuals, belonging to various categories and backgrounds possess the viewpoint that male children will help in carrying forward the family name. The birth of male children is appreciated to a major extent.

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