The theme for IWD : “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. For India it’s improved Sex ratio. It becoming more or equal to 1.
Today is International Women’s Day. On this day the World celebrates “Womanhood or the State or condition of being a woman or what it feels like being a woman”.
The theme for IWD 2016 was “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
Some people see it as gender equality, others see it as reclaiming of public places or making public places accessible to all.
I see it as bettering the Sex ratio in India (Sex ratio is the number of females per 1000 of males in population). The balanced ratio is 1:1. That’s for every 1000 males there must be 1000 females.
In the past three decades, India is showing a decline in Sex ratio. It’s not that we’re conceiving lesser number of Girl child than we used to three or four decades ago. The fact is we Indians in the last 30 years have started ensuring that lesser number of Girls are born. We’re killing our daughters in wombs.
It may surprise or not surprise you, but female foeticide is not linked to our being less educated or poor. It’s entirely the opposite. The idea of sex selective abortion appeals as must to the less educated, poor as it to the highly educated, affluent. If one follows the trend from early 1960s onward, then it appears that what was missing during early years was a way of gender detection in womb. Or we can say that the technology to do so was not accessible to majority of Indians. But as the technology became more accessible to us, female foeticide increased as well.
At present you will have declining sex ratio in most states of India. Even Delhi, the seat of India’s capital, has 817 females per 1000 males.
This will amuse some, but the sex ratio of many states in India fell from positive to very negative in a span of just last 15 years. Again this has nothing to do with education or affluence. Hence cornering poor and illiterate for this will not be correct.
It’s better to see sex selective abortion as a wave, which started from affluent, educated few to upper middle class in urban areas to commoners in urban areas and adjoining villages, to the tribal in remote parts of India. It’s important to know that the uneducated, poor tribal in India once had a very positive sex ratio. That was mainly due to high fertility rate and very less use of contraceptive methods. In these simple tribal societies every child was welcomed. Today their sex ratio is declining as well.
Some years ago I wrote a series of articles about increasing female foeticide in India and particularly in my state. The objective behind those articles was to make us think about the situation. The articles were based on facts and observations. In one such article, I shared a view as to why I think women play a primary decisive role in female foeticide. The article came from my observation over the years which told me that when it comes to female foeticide then it’s always some woman pushing for it. I’ve also found that when the mother (who carries a foetus in womb) decides against female foeticide; then no one can kill the child in her womb. And this irrespective of the economic status of the mother.
If my observation based view seems misplaced, then you can call it my ignorance or plain stupidity. But I cannot change it, that too five years forward in 2017.
An article today, published in a Hindi Daily vindicates my view to some extent (if not in its entirety). According to the article, in 2005, Haryana and Punjab were at the bottom of Sex ratio list, with Haryana having 760 and Punjab having 734 females per 1000 males. Today the sex ratio is around 836/1000 and 860/1000. The article mentions of woman sarpanch (village head) of Rai village, Sonepat, Haryana. She’s being praised for motivating people to stop female foeticide and standing tall among resistance. Today, the village boasts a sex ratio of 1205 girls per 1000 boys. Wonderful! Isn’t it.
On International Women’s Day 2017, we must understand that a woman cannot act helpless on the question of female foeticide. That too when she calls self educated, modern, competitive and confident. She must have to take some flak. At least in 2017.
To conclude, I dedicate this article to two beautiful women in my life; and to a pretty child, I hope will blossom up into a confident woman one day! I love you girls…
To all women in the World. Take best care of yourselves. We’re friends. God bless!
Happy Women’s Day!