On June 28th 2015, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched #SelfieWithDaughter on Twitter. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of gender imbalances and encouraged the parents to give importance to their daughters. Within a few hours, Twitter was flooded with selfies of fathers and daughters using #SelfieWithDaughter.
The campaign created a buzz and everyone spoke about the #SelfieWithDaughter campaign. It was indeed a welcome change that there was some conversation and a focus on the girl-child and daughters. Campaigns may raise awareness, but people need to change their mindset. Gender doesn’t matter here. It is about that one person. It is about the education and values that are imparted to everyone in our society.
However, Indian parents are obsessed with boys. There is a question we should all ask ourselves: if we want a mother, a wife and a sister, why not a daughter? Why the hypocrisy?
In many parts of India, girls are still considered a burden …a girl-child/daughter is murdered every 50 seconds. The daughters are aborted, abandoned, buried alive, poisoned, crushed by stones, starved, left to be killed by infections, suffocated with a pillow and neglected to death.
Daughters are murdered because:
- They will bring no income
- They will not carry the family name
- They will require a large dowry to be married off
- They will move in with their in-laws and will not care for their parents in their old age.
Sons are raised and invested in for the future of the family. In sharp contrast, following the initial disappointment of having a female child, most families go to the extent of discriminating against their daughters, endangering their health or lives.
Every year, 629’000 girls (aged 0–6 years) are reported missing in India. This problem stems from a strong patriarchal society, which has resulted in an obsessive preference for sons and discrimination against girls. Sons are mostly preferred by wealthy parents. If the family is well educated and wealthy, the chances of survival for a girl-child born after a first daughter are lower. These families live in cities, where they have access to ultrasound scans and can afford the cost of abortion processes. Despite the fact that prenatal sex detection and sex-selective abortion are illegal, many clinics offer these services. Daughters are abandoned or killed after birth in poorer communities, where there are fewer ultrasound clinics, or they are lost through neglect.
How are we as a society going to protect the missing girls in our country? Who do we blame for this obsession for sons? Is it the child’s mistake to be born as a girl? Do we blame the cultural and societal norms and beliefs we adhere to? How do we give our girl children in the country a chance to live? How are we going to rescue our girl children from foeticide, infanticide, gendercide?
More importantly, how are we going to protect our Girl Children from feeling unwanted by their families, society and by herself?
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao !
By Lincy Hepsiba
She is a pure Bengaluru breed, Engineer by education, Portfolio manager by qualification, Creative soul and artist by passion, Quit her 9 to 5 job to pursue her love for food. Currently exploring the zenith of Italian food and wine in Italy! She is delightfully chaotic, being her unapologetic self . She says..” She is perfectly imperfect and Loving her is a splendid journey”