In India and many other parts of the world today, girls are aborted, abandoned and murdered simply for being born female. In India, families are only considered complete when they have a son. NITI Aayog report by the Indian government reveals that gender imbalance is on the rise in India. Almost 21 million girls in India are ‘unwanted’. The report says that couples keep having children until they have the desired number of boys.
Indian girls are being terminated, killed or abandoned by impoverished parents to avoid paying dowries.
Girls who survive infancy often face a lifetime of neglect, extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or family. And most disturbingly, this so-called “gendercide” is a centuries-old tradition, with no end in sight. Povety is not the reason for this since they rejoice when its a boy, how do they manage to feed a boy, when feeding a girl is burden. It is just their stupid cultural beliefs.
Despite it being illegal, the culture of dowries still exists in certain parts of India. As a result, raising a daughter can be costly – raising two, a financial impossibility. For the poorest families in society this leads them to killing their baby daughters, a process known as female infanticide.
Child marriage is recognized as a major development issue that affects girls in many countries. It is illegal in India, but it still takes place in a few rural areas where it is considered a traditional religious practice. The practice has been linked to various health risks and lower education attainment. The causes of child marriage range from poverty, food insecurity, and lack of alternatives such as access to education. Instead of focusing on their education, teenage girls in are focused on the fear of being forced to marry without their consent.
Violence against women is the fastest-growing crime in India. According to a report prepared by India’s National Crime Records Bureau a crime has been recorded against women in every three minutes in India. Every 60 minutes, two women are raped in this country. Every six hours, a young married woman is found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide. Domestic violence is now being viewed as a public health problem of epidemic proportion all over the world – and many public, private and governmental agencies are seen making huge efforts to control it in India. But despite all these efforts much is left to be desired .
Every hour a woman loses her life. Mothers abort when they know the gender of the baby, and many women in India suffer every kind of humiliation and violence. Some are sold as slaves before they are 12 years old, others are forced to marry as soon as they have their first period. More suffer beatings or are assaulted by gangs without consequence, or attacked with acid by their own husbands following cultural traditions.
Is anything being done to correct the major gender imbalance facing India?
Programmes have been set up to teach young women skills which will allow them to provide for themselves financially, economic incentives are being put in place to encourage families to keep their daughters, and organisations and women’s groups are educating young women in order to bring about a slow but necessary change in societal attitudes.
A recent UN report says that to deal with this issue, it is important to get rid of gender inequality in the first place. The UN report also warns that COVID-19 could potentially disrupt efforts to end some harmful practices such as child marriages, resulting in an additional 13 million child marriages between 2020 and 2030 globally.