Petition Tag - female infanticide

1. Stop Killing Girl Foetuses

Indian girl Infanticide-Female Fetocide: 1 million girls killed before or after birth per year.

Abortion, Female Infanticide, Foeticide, Son preference in India. India’s female to male ratio is 100 males to 93 females compared to a world average of 100 males to 105 females.

The main reason for the widespread female foeticide and the continuing prevalence of female infanticide in parts of India was the dowry system, which although long prohibited by law, continues to play a significant role in Indian society. Dowries and wedding expenses regularly run to more than a million rupees ($35,000) in a country where the average civil servant earns about 100,000 rupees ($3,500) a year.

Added to this the low status of women in rural India, where they perform the menial tasks of the family such as carrying water and firewood and seeing to feeding the animals, and it is clear where the roots of the discrimination spring.

2. Call for Government Action to Stop Female Genocide In India

In 1986, the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Amartya Sen, had served India the first warning. He had calculated that 37 million women were “missing” from the country. Women who should have been part of the population but could not be accounted for.

The elimination however continued, even escalated. And now, 22 years later, it is estimated about 50 million women have been systematically purged from India’s population, targeted only because they were female. This is perhaps what makes it one of the worst genocides in human history. And it is silent. And ongoing.

Female infanticide has long, historical roots in India. It continues to be a rampant practice in many rural regions of India, largely because it is more affordable for the rural poor than the method more prevalent in towns and cities -- that is sex-selected abortions. A mid-wife is paid only about Rs 100/- (U.S. $2.50) to kill a newborn girl. Babies are strangled, buried alive, drowned in buckets of milk, or fed poison. In some parts of India that job is relegated to the father or paternal grandmother who does it for free.

Female feticide has now become an unbridled phenomenon in India. Even though it is illegal for doctors to reveal the gender of the fetus during an ultrasound, still about a million female fetuses are selectively aborted in India each year. This rate is expected to rise to an alarming 2-5 million/year over the new few years.

Also on the rise are the murders of young married women, whose in-laws’ demands for dowry money seem insatiable. Dubbed as ‘dowry deaths’ – these murders are generally gang-murders involving the husband, his parents, and sometimes his siblings. The victim is doused with kerosene and set ablaze in staged kitchen “accidents.” Or forced to consume sleeping pills, or hanged in staged “suicides.” It has been estimated that at least 25000 women are murdered this way, every year. The thousands who don’t die, live-on badly burnt and maimed, their lives destroyed.

The standpoint of this petition is to treat this as a situation of extensive and violent, lawlessness, perpetuated largely due to the apathy of the country’s system of law and order.

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3. Stop Female Infanticide Now!

In many parts of the world, sex ratio is artificially skewed in favor of boy children. Recently, the number of males has increased and the number of females has decreased in China, India, Pakistan, and South Korea.

In many cases, girl children are so devalued that they are abandoned or killed at birth. Female, infanticide-the intentional killing of girl babies-has been widely documented in China and India, and is believed to be common in other Asian countries. Current technology allows women to know the gender of their fetuses before birth, and in many parts of the world, female fetuses are several times more likely to be aborted.

If they are allowed to live, girl children often receive little food and no health care or education-all of which are violations of girls' human rights. Because girls are less often educated than boys, two-thirds of the worlds illiterate adults are women. In many countries girls are more likely to become ill, but less likely to be taken to a doctor than their male counterparts. Discrimination against girl children manifests itself in a variety of more subtle ways as well. In some cultures, for example, although girl children may not be denied an education, they often receive less attention in school and are steered into stereotypical areas of study.

Discrimination against girl children is so deeply ingrained on an international level that it was nearly left out to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The convention was nearly opened for signature in 1990 containing only male pronouns: "she" and "her" had to be added at the last minute. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that the convention often does not speak to the needs of girl children. For example, it does not address female genital mutilation, son preference, or early marriage-practices that impact girls more than boys.