The ‘Bollywood cringe horror’ category, for a change, highlighted the ‘core reality of the paranormal’ and the ‘real horrors of female foeticide’, it drew curtains from a very harrowing practice still followed in regions of our country, and to even imagine that sends real chills to my core.
Story – Sakshi and Hemant are happily married and eight months pregnant. Hemant is confronted with terrible repercussions when he is unable to pay money to lenders for the business he intended to start. This forces the pair into hiding at a remote location where they will be secure and have time to arrange for the money. However, the house they check into is his driver’s house, which is spooky and has a reputation for gore and spirits.
When someone finds out they’re expecting, the first question on everyone’s mind is, “Is it a boy or a girl?” And, in most cases, whatever the response is, it is greeted with joy and delight. Gender does matter in certain societies, and the delivery of a newborn girl is viewed as a burden rather than a blessing in our country.
Female foeticide is the earliest possible stage in the discrimination of women and girls in India. It’s a type of gender-selective abortion in which a female fetus is illegally killed merely because she’s a girl. We can now discover the gender of the baby far earlier in pregnancy because of recent technological advancements in the last 20 years. As a result, the number of gender-selective abortions conducted in India was fast growing.
Female foeticide is a problem in India, from rural communities to metropolitan areas. With measures like the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques Act, the government has attempted to reduce the rate of female foeticide (PCPNDT). Due to the rapidly rising female foeticide in India, the PCPNDT was adopted in 1994 by the Indian Parliament and forbids prenatal sex determination. People use alternate techniques to identify the gender and also undertake abortions because prenatal sex determination is against the law and can result in heavy fines. There have been revisions to the statute since it was passed to tighten and enforce it, but female foeticide continues to be a problem. Understanding why and how female foeticide occurs, as well as taking steps as a community to address the issue, is the most effective method to put a stop to it.
Female foeticide is the product of a gender-biased societal construct that devalues women and feels they are less valued than males. Sons are chosen above females in our patriarchal society for a variety of reasons. Women and girls are viewed as weak and valued less than males, whether economically or socially. In this society, females might be more expensive in terms of money because women are expected to marry off to another family. In India, it is customary for a lady to marry into a family with a better social position. So, if her parents want it to happen, they’ll need to be able to provide a significant (expensive) dowry. A dowry might be a piece of land, a piece of property, or a sum of money.
Many people still believe that with a male or a son, the family would be cared for, the family name would be passed down, specific rites would be performed, and the family lineage would be protected. It was difficult for me to comprehend how this could happen, and how girls are continually regarded as less than men by both males and females even today.
The drop in the child sex ratio isn’t just a matter of numbers. The very standing of women, as well as the progress gained in this area throughout time, are on the line. With fewer women in society, violence against women in all kinds is likely to increase. Women would be more likely to isolate themselves behind the four walls of their homes in this insecure environment. This isn’t the only sign that the social fabric is under threat of significant upheaval. If this trend continues, the delicate balance of nature may be irreversibly disrupted. Female infanticide can take the form of a planned murder of a young girl newborn or kid, or it might take the form of neglect. As a result of new sex-detecting prenatal technology, selective abortion appears to be on the rise.
The PCPNDT Act oversimplifies a complicated issue by putting the moral and legal burden of proof on physicians rather than on patients who commit female feticide and their families. “It is apparent that focusing on providers of sex selection services has not succeeded for 20 years,” said former Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in October 2014. We need to go to the source of the problem and create a social movement. In Punjab, the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child) campaign and free government education for females are positive measures. Given the concentration of sex imbalance among the highly educated, achieving social equity for women would need a complex, multifaceted approach that goes beyond educational opportunity.
Female foeticide is a major issue around the globe since many girls are denied the right to exist merely because they are female. As certain civilizations evolve, as more and the female community are given opportunities to be CEOs, hold executive positions, and even run for president, we must realize that not all societies are as progressive as others. We can improve the lives of these women and promote gender equality throughout the world by campaigning for greater education, women’s empowerment, and raising awareness of these concerns around the world.
The female community is moving out of their houses and running their lives on their terms and with good reason. Everyone deserves to be treated like a normal human being should be treated, with basic rights that also include a right to life.