The magnitude of the discrimination of females in Indian society is demonstrated by the wide-spread and socially accepted practice of female feticide, or gendercide. According to India’s 2011 census, the sex ratio of the country’s children has dropped to a 60-year low of 914 females for every 1000 males.
Ultrasound tests are being used across India to illegally identify and abort healthy female fetuses.
The real culprit may be Indian culture and tradition itself. If left unchecked, it will leave India’s next generation with a severe shortage of women.
Indian couples have a strong cultural preference, which borders on obsession, for sons over daughters. Parents are financially burdened when a daughter is born; the expense and pressure of the dowry system and the fact that only sons inherit property and wealth contribute to this favoritism.
Perhaps just as important, sons typically live with their parents after they are married and assume responsibility for parents in their old age. Daughters who live with their in-laws are viewed as amanat – someone else’s property. In short, sons represent income while daughters represent expense.
Gendercide is the product of a flawed value system, one that Gender Save seeks to redefine.