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 InfanticideThe causes of female foeticide and female infanticide have been stated as
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.