Save the Girl Child

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Working to prevent female infanticide and feticide

Female infanticide It is the deliberate killing of a newborn female child by her family through § § § §

Drowning Strangulation Abandonment Not providing nutrition or medical care

It is most commonly done immediately after birth or within the first year of the girl’s life.

How do families carry out female infanticide…..

§ A baby is discarded in trashcans and alleyways where the natural elements cause death § A baby is strangled or choked to death, or smothered with a pillow § A baby is drowned in water or milk or buried alive. § A baby is fed poisoned milk, paddy husk, or sleeping pills that cause it to die. § A baby is simply not given food, nutrition or medical attention in the first year of life.

Female feticide It is the deliberate killing of a female child while she is still in the womb by her family. The family determines the gender of the baby using modern diagnostic technologies like ultrasound and amniocentesis, so that they can abort the pregnancy and then try for a male child. Gender-determination before birth is illegal in most of the countries where female infanticide is common, but has become a booming profitable racket.

This is female feticide ‌.

Countries where female infanticide is common

Mostly South and East Asian countries • • • • • • •

India China Pakistan Bangladesh Afghanistan Vietnam Korea

China, India, Pakistan, and many Asian countries have high gendercide rates

These countries are mainly patriarchal societies. The males have higher status in political leadership, property rights, social privilege, and overall power. The "low status" with which women are viewed creates a bias and devaluation against females.

A sobering reality is that female infanticide has now spread to Western countries. Global immigration has brought it across the ocean divide‌

Why does female gendercide happen?

It happens in societies where overpopulation, poverty, and male biases are prevalent

These are some reasons why female infanticide happens § In countries with poverty and large populations, another child is another mouth to feed. A male contributes to the family income while a female does not. § South Asian countries have patriarchal societies favoring a male – for carrying on the family name, inheritance of property rights, and looking after parents in their old age. § Societal problems like expensive dowry that has to be given when a girl is married § Government laws like China’s one-child rule cause people to favor boys § The vulnerability of girls to social crimes - acid burning, dowry harassment, rape, gender inequality, honor killing, human trafficking, and marriage abuse § Lack of education creating a society where the girl-child is devalued and easily terminated.



Higher status in society

Perceived as the weaker gender in society

Carries on family lineage

Receives dowry payment at marriage

Performs funeral rites for parents

Another mouth to feed

Will look after parents after marriage

Will look after in-laws after marriage

Ability to do manual labor and contribute to household income

Vulnerable to social evils like dowry harassment, and crime against women

What are the repercussions of female infanticide?

The societal consequences of female infanticide

Female infanticide is causing a steep gender inequality in the countries where it happens. The average gender-ratio of a country should be 1 girl : 1 boy. However, South-Asian country demographics show a very skewed ratio and a marked decline in the number of girls to boys.

In many Asian countries, the female-to-male sex ratio has been gradually declining over the decades‌.as low as 850 girls per 1000 boys

Fewer girls in society leads to increased crime and sexual violence against women in the form of eve-teasing, rape, acid attacks, and abductions. There are lack of brides available for men. Sexual trafficking and exploitation of women increases steeply.

Fewer girls increases the problem of child marriages as men claim brides young or share them. Child marriages decrease a girl’s opportunity for education, increase risk of bearing children too early, and for remaining in poverty.

Female infanticide stunts the economic development and the social fabric of a nation. Fewer girls means less productivity and less human capital input from one gender.

"A nation cannot progress at the cost of the loss of its female population."

The seriousness of this problem……

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that today over 117 million women in the world are “missing”

The term "missing women" was coined by economist Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize, to describe a distorted population sex-ratio in which the number of males far outweigh the number of females. The women are “missing� because they have simply not been allowed to survive

Female infanticide is a gruesome social evil that denies a girl child her most fundamental right: “The Right to Life�

Female gendercide is perhaps the clearest statement of the low value and disposability of girls and women in society.

What can you do to help? STAND UP Be a voice if a family member of friend discriminates against the birth of a female child

DONATE Give gifts and donations to abandoned and orphaned girls around the world

BE AN ADVOCATE Speak up against contributing social problems like dowry, child marriage, lack of female education

RAISE AWARENESS Write blogs, create films, poems, social media support pages, screen the film “It’s a Girl”

SPONSOR A GIRL Support and contribute to a poor girl child’s education and health care needs for a year.

SIGN A PETITION Sign the “50 Million Missing” campaign’s petition on to raise awareness about gendercide

BE A BILLBOARD Represent what you stand for by wearing a t-shirt, wristband, button, or pin, and talk to people you meet

SUPPORT OTHERS Help other organizations such as Invisible Girl Project, Snehalaya, and Unique Home through donations and volunteering

Think about this…. The number of victims claimed by female infanticide • exceeds the number of deaths in World War I and World War II combined. • surpasses the number killed in all the genocides of the 20th century • has eliminated more than the great flu epidemic of the early 20th century or the AIDS virus. • Has exterminated 117 million girls

It is imperative that we take action to combat female gendercide

One person, one action, one small step at a time, can make a big difference But let us not find ourselves on the wrong side of history for having failed to take any action at all‌.

Thank you for reading.

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