Menace of dowry
In most traditional, conservative families, a girl child is more or less considered a liability or a burden, due to the frequent demands of a huge sum in the form of dowry at the time of her marriage. On the other hand, it is seen that the father of the male child bargains very hard to maximize the benefits of marriage for his son. Though the parents have to face similar ordeals in getting their kids educated and settled in their lives, whether they are boys or girls, however, the mindset inclined towards the baby boy refuses to go, giving way to killing of female foetuses.
Sex determination tests put to wrong use
With the progress of science and technology, it is quite easy to find out the gender of the foetus. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous medical practitioners are also found to be increasingly involved in the illegal trade of carrying out sex - determination tests and later complying with the wishes of the parents for abortion of the foetus, if it is found out to be female.
Conclusion: Female foeticide is nothing but the misuse of pre - natal technology which was invented to detect abnormality in unborn child before it could actually take birth. It’s really very unfortunate that the technology is often used in detecting the sex of the foetus and if it is a girl, then parents have no qualms in getting it aborted.
Female foeticide is a crime against women as it debars them to take birth. Of late, sex - selective abortions to get only male kids born in the family have gained momentum. Though the medical techniques used to determine sex of the child been helpful in various surgeries or treatments required to avoid complications during the birth and to know more about the health of the unborn baby, however, this technique is being used quite often for sex - selective abortions.
Eliminating female foetus in the womb of a woman is possible with the help of simple techniques starting from ultrasound and then some medicines which forces the foetus to die.
To stop the evil practice of female foeticide, strict punishment in the form of fine or jail to the person requesting abortion of the unborn girl child is prescribed under Pre Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PNDT) Act. Simultaneously the practitioner who helps in sex determination for this purpose is also required to be punished equally.
But the PNDT has failed to check female infanticide as the sex determination and services needed for the same have mushroomed accordingly. Law has been unable to curb the misuse of ultrasound machines by unscrupulous operators. After the determination of female foetus, many women go for an abortion of their own accord. Sometimes they forced by their family members who find some medical practitioners willing to carry the surgical procedure against the enforced law.
Though there is little justification for the unscrupulous murder of a female foetus, three is an increasing trend of families in urban as well as rural regions across the country going for the illegal practice of sex - determination test. On its part, the government has attempted to regulate the use of pre - natal diagnostic techniques for legal or medical purposes through the PNDT Act 1994 and has also set up a central body to check killing of female foetus through abortion.
Also, we cannot blame the entire doctor community for carrying out sex - selective tests. It’s only an unscrupulous bunch of doctors who become willing partners of parents in not allowing many girls to come into this world.
Winds of Change
The winds of change have now started blowing in the society with girls doing well in diverse professions, which were considered male - bastions up until now, such as boxing, wrestling, martial arts, armed forces, etc. ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save and educate the girl child) has become a countrywide movement. Fortunately, a growing number of medical practitioners have now rallied themselves against the sex - selective abortions. The development is very encouraging for the development of the nation and it will also help correct the skewed male - female ratio in many states of the country.
Conclusion: Though there is PNDT Act 1994 in place to prevent the abuse of sex - determination test, we require an attitudinal change in society to abolish the heinous practice of female foeticide. Fortunately, the society is now beginning to realize the importance of the girl child with the result that equal opportunities of nutrition, health, education and employment are now available to women.
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