India Breathing the Menace Of Male Chauvinism

You can breathe the menace of skewed sex ratio in this country. A girl is worshiped as a Devi on one hand and denied her existence on the other. Baby girls are neglected, malnourished, and sometimes even killed at birth. Yes, your surmise was right. I reside in India.

The menace of female foeticide started emerging and spreading all over northern and western India and later on all over the country. Today female foeticide is no more an urban phenomenon, rural people are also getting involved in it and come all the way long to cities to get these tests done. Ironically, India was the first country to adopt family planning as an official programme to reduce the birthrate. But population of the country is still growing. One of the reasons for the growth of population in India is the desire for a son. Today the sex-determination tests have provided an easy way out to know whether or not a woman will get a son. Each time a woman gets pregnant she can have the sex of the foetus determined and get it aborted if it happens to be a female child.

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Female foeticide is one of the most atrocious crimes on this earth. Not that we aren’t aware of this calamity. Many people who commit this crime belong to the educated class. Our ancestral and biased view about the male child, lack of education, ever increasing population and dowry have been good propellants to this menace. The social, cultural and religious fiber of India is pre-dominantly patriarchal contributing extensively to the secondary status of women.

There is always an impression in every Indian’s mind, accept it or not, that after getting engaged, the daughter of the family, better known as the burden of the father, is passed on to the husband for a very high price. The dowry or groom price is so staggeringly high irrespective of the class structure that generations may have to toil to repay the debts incurred during marriage. Additionally, stringent beliefs that it is only the son who can perform the last rites, lineage and inheritance runs through the male line, sons will look after parents in old age, men are bread winners – have only added fuel to this fire in which the female gets burnt. All of this has contributed to a low status for women in the society to such an extent that even the birth of a girl child in a family is sought to be avoided.

It is true that people should have every right to plan their families. If a man has a daughter and he wants a son let him have it. But the difficulty lies if he only wants a son. How far it is correct to permit him to do so? Though it is the individual interest that is paramount, he has a duty towards the society and also as a member of the society. If female foeticide is continued the way it is continuing, it will render all the women and child health programmes a nullity.

But what is most astonishing is the fact that strong male preference and the consequent elimination of the female has continued to increase rather than decline with the spread of education and this increasing imbalance between men and women has led to many crimes such as illegal trafficking of women, sexual assaults, polygamy and dehumanization of society. These acts have been increasing making this world unsafe for women.

It is the need of the hour to get rid of male chauvinism and treat children as gifts of nature regardless of their gender. We cannot imagine a society in the future where there will be only males and no females. The society will be full of crimes and evils. Only if legislations enacted in this behalf are not sufficient. Orthodox views regarding women need to be changed. We need to change. For the better.

Ria Golecha
Ria Golecha

I am a conscientious person who works hard and aspires to explore opportunities. I have been the Head Girl and a scholarship student in my school and won the Award of Best Debator. I have also written blogs for an Online Fashion store and hold some community experience.

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