Female foeticide is the deliberate abortion or elimination of a foetus after detecting that the foetus is female. India is among the nations in South Asia that practice female foeticide extensively. Other Asian countries that practice this vice include China, Korea, and Vietnam. In most cases, women and young girls are under pressure from their families and society to abort any female foetus. Advanced medical technology enables doctors to detect the gender of a foetus at an early pregnancy stage. Women often choose to abort their foetus to avoid the stigma and pressure associated with bearing and raising a girl child.
Factors that support female foeticide
Most societies that support female foeticide prefer the boy child to the girl child. Such societies consider men as breadwinners in the households and undermine the role of women in raising family income. The male child represents continuity of the family lineage. Women are often the greatest danger to the girl child. They consent to female foeticide in fear of stigmatization of raising a girl child. Mothers push their daughters to abort female feotus to conform to cultural practices. The low status of women in Asian communities gives them no power and will to fight the vice.
Unethical medical practices and technology enable female foeticide. Doctors often advise women to abort female fetuses arguing that the cost of abortion is far much lower than the cost of raising a girl child. Technology enables doctors to detect the gender of a foetus, which marks the start of stigma and pressure to abort the child. Other factors that enable female foeticide include dowry considerations, pride, legalization of abortion, and fear of sexual abuse.
Consequences of female foeticide
Female foeticide affects sex ratios and the rate of population growth. The number of men is higher than that of women in countries that support this practice. Consequently, brutality against women is rampant. The skewed sex ratios lead to increased rapes cases and early marriages. Girls are married off at a tender age as men compete to build their families. Increased rape cases create insecurity among girls who may choose to stay away from school. A smaller number of girls implies that population growth in these countries will decline.
Women might also be under intense pressure to bear more children to increase the population. Abortion is associated with other physical and psychological complications. Women who undergo several abortions may not bear children in the future. Some of the crude methods of abortion damage the uterus and sometimes lead to death. As the number of girls declines, the importance of women and respect for their rights might grow in the future.