Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why do we kill our daughters?

The recent census states that India's child sex ratio (number of girls per 1000 boys in the age group of 0 to 6) has fallen to 914 from 927 in the 2001 census! This shows that all efforts by the government and various other organizations is simply not bearing fruit. Why are Indians still killing their daughters?

The answer lies in our basic thinking. Even in very educated families, women still don't have the same rights as men. Boys are given many liberties denied to girls. In my own family, I can see a number of examples where this discrimination is very evident. Adjust for the level of education and financial status and you will figure out why the girl child is often not even allowed to be born and if she succeeds, condemned to a life of being discriminated against or worse, tortured.

In this article on the Wall Street Journal, the writer asks, "Is it poverty, deep-rooted cultural conditioning or our ignorance about what it means to be a woman?" I strongly feel it is the 'deep-rooted cultural conditioning'. We are all brought up that way. Me, too!

Only now do I see the gross injustice meted out to women in India. Women are discriminated against at every level in Indian society. It is only the magnitude that differs. At higher levels, you will find 'not-so-serious' things like men always eating first at a family gathering. At lower levels you will find things like female foeticide.

There is a new initiative being started by an NGO called SIAAP. They are starting a program called "Reducing the Gender Divide by promoting acceptance and enhancing agency of the girl child in 13 districts of Tamil Nadu". The specific problems have been identified and objectives with measurable expected outputs have been set. It is not a generic 'benefits-all' kind of a program. It is being done in a very structured and systematic manner.

Please contact SIAAP at siaap@satyam.net.in for more details. You can also click here for a Concept Note that details the program.

1 comment:

Nobody said...

More than anything else, we are scared of crimes against girls. Had there a system which took crimes upon girls very seriously and made sure enough provisions are made for their security, more families would start treating them equals.
Can't expect change in the society. It has been like from ages. Someone one has to impose restrictions, give punishments and have to make the sick ppl straight.