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India’s Female Infanticide: The Raging Battle for Life

Citizens of India prioritize boys over girls. This is a fact that has been in existence for more than 20 years now. Every year, thousands of baby girls are abandoned or killed because they are girls. There is about half a million abortions based of gender and the numbers aren’t going down. The number of illegal abortions have increased to such high numbers that the ratio of boys to girls under the age of 6 has become very different.

The Indian society has come to accept that boys are far more important than girls in that they are the future leaders of the family, don’t have to give dowry at the time of marriage, and will take care of the old aged parents in the future. Meanwhile, a girl would have to give a dowry (though it is illegal in India), and will leave the household at the time of marriage.

Girls in India are abandoned on the sides of roads, garbage bins, and bathrooms, and/or any unsafe public place for a baby. In India, families and villages celebrate the birth of a boy and weep at the birth of a girl. Not only are baby girls the victim to this problem, women are too. Thousands of women are forced by their family members and especially their husband to have an abortion after finding out the sex of the child. In India, having an ultrasound to know the sex of the child is illegal in India but more than 40,000 registered clinics exist just to reveal the sex of the baby and conduct illegal abortions. There are probably more unregistered clinics for the people of India as well.

Every year, the ratio girls to boys in India changes. This graph showcases the decrease in ratio of girls to boys from 1961 to 2011.

Doctors in India have even become more and more corrupt and a further problem in this national genocide. In the past, 1.5 million girls would be killed every year and in 2001, 400 killings occurred in clinics and in 2010, 4,000.  The government of India is fully aware of this problem and there has not been any drastic change or improvement to end this genocide. In India’s Penal Code, it is a criminal offense to have an abortion because of gender. This can lead to up to 3 years in jail. Though this sounds like an effective enforcement, it’s not. Indians continue to have illegal abortions and the ratio between men and women continues to deepen. Some villages in India, such as Haryana villages, don’t even have women in their villages. In the past few years, a girl has not been born in the 70 Haryana villages that exist in India. Because of these circumstances, men turn to human trafficking and girls from other cities and villages are used for sex slavery.

This deep rooted problem in Indian society does not solely exist in India. Though Indians in other countries are not taking the extreme measures as killing their children, they still are affected by this genocide that has been occurring for decades. Some families outside of India would prefer to have a boy as their first born or not have a girl at all. This problem overall has come to the attention of millions of Indians across the world, but the extreme genocide in India, still exists to this day.


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Arusha Kumria
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Arusha Kumria is an Indian-American 17 year old from New York. In her free time she likes to read and write. She is very passionate about women's rights and equality.

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