No Girls Allowed In IndiaMay 25, 2011 No Comments
It’s hard to believe that female feticide is a problem that’s getting worse, but in India, the gender gap is widening so much it has become a chasm.
A law was passed in 1996 barring screening for sex, but rich women are still finding ways to get the procedure done illegally — with grave consequences. As a result of 12 million abortions in India over the last 30 years, there are now seven million fewer girls than boys over six in India, according to a recent study.
For these women, the costs of raising a girl are higher than the psychological costs (you would presume) of having abortions based purely on sex selection. Women are considered financial burdens because of the high dowries the bride’s parents have to pay before marrying their daughter off.
In the grand scheme of things, however, the cost of a dowry is nothing compared to the costs of an ever-increasing gender gap. Just look at China. There aren’t enough women for men to marry and it’s causing long-term psychological effects in men.
Since the law isn’t doing much other than make rich women pay for abortions, it’s obviously time to take more extreme measures. The threat of seven years in jail is not enough to deter women from having (or being pressured into) abortions.
Where working to change perceptions through education doesn’t work to stress the importance of balancing out the child sex ratio, the law must come into fuller force.
In India, women need an equal chance at life.
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