I Don’t Want Her. Give Me A Boy Instead.

stop-gendercide

She is crying. I hear a regular and booming heartbeat, accompanied by the sound of her breathing. There are ten fingers, ten toes and a head full of hair. I am grateful.  These are the thoughts that every parent should think when they are handed their baby girl for the very first time. Unfortunately, not every baby girl is exposed to this kind of love and affection when she is first born. For many baby girls, the sentence “it’s a girl” can be more like a death sentence.

Gendercide is “defined as the systematic elimination of a gender,” generally due to cultural reasons. These reasons can include “a social preference for male, financial strains, or superstition.” For example, in India, parents have gone to great lengths to ensure they do not have a girl. It has been reported that 5 million female fetuses are aborted each year. Devastatingly, 1.5 million baby girls are killed by their first birthdays; they are thrown into rivers, strangled, left in garbage dumps or killed at birth. There are 37 million more men in China than there are women. The U.N. roughly estimates that between 113 million and 200 million women are demographically “missing” in the world today because of gendercide.

What solutions are there to end the practice of killing baby girls? Recently, Great Britain voted to ban sex-selective abortions. NGOS, like Invisible Girl Project, have created help centers and shelters to provide food, medical aid and protection to young girls who are at risk of being abandoned or killed. Although these solutions seem like small steps towards ending this vicious cycle, what legal solutions are there?

Does this constitute a human rights violation that the international community can interfere with the sovereign rights of countries like India or China? What if an end was put to the “1-child policy?” Would this change the public’s mind and social norms or has the damage already been done?

Sources: The United Nations Report: Take Action to End Impunity for Violence Against Women an GirlsSevenly: The Invisible Girl Project; CNNImage Source

3 comments

  1. When countries like that of India and China are analyzed in terms of sexual preference, the 1-child policy is always a glaring issue. Unfortunately, even if this policy and those like it were repealed, there would still exist the problem of society’s overall mindset and other governmental regulations. For example, the media’s recent coverage of the mass sterilization camps in India reveal that nearly 4 million women have (somewhat) willingly subjected themselves to sterilization surgeries. This has lead to numerous deaths and begs the question, is it truly worth it? The government, in their attempt to control the population, will argue yes. But, as this post highlights, women are continuously short handed and forced into the cultural phenomenon of gendercide. Not only are females less desirable as children, if they are fortunate enough to become adults, their rights are limited by the men and governmental policy. It seems to be a circular infringement on basic humanitarian choices.

  2. The fact that the killing of baby girls is still occurring shows how this issue needs more global awareness to stop this atrocious practice. The U.S. based organization of the Invisible Girl Project is one such organization that raises global awareness to combat genocide in India and representatives of IGP travel around the world speaking about gendercide in India and around the globe to promote their mission using social media. IGP’s partners also pursue justice for the lives of baby girls that have been taken in local court systems. In addition, IGP’s social workers provide care for the pregnant mothers and try to educate them on the value of girls. By providing education to mothers, spreading global awareness of this issue, and pursuing justice for the lives of babies who are killed simply for being female, small steps will be taken to end this injustice.

  3. It is very sad that the killing of baby girls is occurring in countries like China and India. The fact that 5 million female fetuses are aborted each year is evidence that something must be done. Even if there was an end to the “1-child policy” I do not think this would change the public’s mind and social norms of wanting to have boys instead of girls. Something needs to be done to help spread awareness of this on going gendercide.

    The Invisible Girl Project (“IGP”) is a non-profit, organization based out of the United States that seeks to end the atrocity of gendercide in India. IGP raises global awareness concerning the loss of female lives in India, pursues justice for the lives lost, and assists Indian organizations in the rescue of and care for Indian girls. The IGP’s partners provide care for these girls, help meet their needs, educate them, and help transform their lives. Additionally, representatives of the IGP travel around the United States, speaking about genercide in India, and globally promote the mission using social media. I think IGP is taking a great step towards spreading awareness and ending gendercide.

Leave a Reply to Meredith Gabay Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.