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There is no he without she “save the girl child”

by Anuj KumarJune 10, 2016

A girl child is a liability and a boy is an asset in the eyes of an Indian parent.

Foeticide or feticide is an act that causes the death of a foetus. In a legal context, it refers to the deliberate or incidental killing of a foetus due to a criminal human act, such as a blow to the abdomen of a pregnant woman[1].

Female foeticide is in practice in India from the time of advent of technological advancements in medical field like prenatal sex determination in the 1990s. However, earlier to this, female child were killing after their birth in many regions of the country[2]. No one understands its negative aspect in the future. It is not easy to compensate the sex ratio even if we stop female foeticide completely in the next few years[3].

It is more a male dominated mindset that mechanically drives the Indian population to undermine their females.  It is showing females as lesser beings that a majority of Indian men survive.  The birth of a female child is mostly received with a sad smile or sometimes even breast beating and loud wails and there begins the long and arduous journey of the female child.  She is fed less, educated less, and made to work more and to be subservient to the men in the family.  She is taught about her gender weakness and how to protect herself from the ‘clutches’ of the predatory male be it even the father/ brother/ uncle or an outsider. If molested, she is made to stay mum for fear of societal retributions even though she was the victim and if she seeks legal assistance, she is put through further mental torture till she gives up. Sometimes even her life.  Some unfortunate ones continue to suffer torture (physical and mental) or are sent up in a flame (which invariably is proved accidental in the court).  The parents wash their hands off their daughters once she is married so in the event of a broken marriage, the female is left with nowhere to go!!

And then the government comes up with relief measures for the downtrodden girls and women such is the plight of women in our country “the status of a refugee”.

Such are some of the tragic life situations in the life of a female.  So it’s anyone’s guess, why female feticide is on the increase now for no sensible mother would like to bring a female child to the world and let her undergo the tortures of a lifetime.

Some key reasons of female feticide are:

  • Generally, parents avoid girl baby because they have to pay a big amount (more than their strength) as a dowry at daughter’s marriage[4].
  • There is a believe that girls are always consumer and boys are producer. Parents understand that son earn money for them whole life and care their parents however girls will get married a day and go away[5].
  • There is a myth that son will carry name of family in future whereas girl have to carry husband’s family.
  • Parents and grandparents understand their honour while having boy baby in the family whereas shame having daughter.
  • Illiteracy, insecurity and poverty of people in society are main reasons of girl baby burden.[6]
  • Technological advancement in the science and utilities has made this very easy for parents[7].

Obsession for son is prevalent in all income groups, education groups irrespective of caste and creed why there is obsession for son? Continuation of family lineage, performance of certain religious and social functions, performance of last rites, and expectation to provide financial, emotional and social support at old age are some of the factors. Hard tasks like ploughing in fields are very difficult for females, and sons are important assets in such situations. Who will look after them when the parents lose their strength with age? Things are no different for service-class retired people in urban areas.

Gender disparities exist throughout the life cycle of the individual from birth to death. At the birth of boy, whole family is excited and jubilant, and sweets are distributed[8].

Factors Leading to Female Feticide in India female Feticide are taking place for various factors viz. economic, socio ritual, and technological.

  • Economic Factors: the female Foeticide in the 21st century have a great deal to do with capitalist modernity. There are aspects of it lying behind these phenomena. For rural households with landed property there is a clear inverse correlation between the income level and child sex ratio[9]. It is especially evident in south India. Again there is gender based wage level. For the same work, females are paid less remuneration.
  • Nearly 7- 8000 per year brides are murdered for the lack of full payment of dowry. Nearly 3-5000 brides are committing suicides for dowry[10]. Brides are thought as commodities and the pre marriage and marriage have been described as ‘consumption oriented reproductive journey’. When the reproductive practices make daughters into such economic burden, the threat of having to amass dowry is motive enough to dispose female commodities. The female foeticide has been co modified. It has started to become a field of accumulation in its own right. Malini Bhattachgarya, the member of the national commission for women, admitted that in the era of liberalisation “one has to allow freedom of choice to the service.
  • Foeticide may cost one or two month’s earnings, while dowry requires mobilisation of several years’ income[11]. Hence there appears equilibrium between service seeker and provider. UNICEF estimates that the turnover of foeticide industry has now reached 244 million dollar from 77 million dollar in 2006. Those who disapproved of the practice of sex selective abortions but engaged in it against their principles expressed their compulsions and helplessness due to pressures arising out of unhealthy competition in the health care service sector. It was said that if they did not provide abortion care services, some others would have provided them .For these economic reasons females are not desired.
  • Socio-ritual factors: females are vulnerable to brutalities of the male in the forms of physical, mental and sexual assaults and traumas in the patriarchal societal structure of India. Females are subjugated, condemned, and deprived in sphere of life. Again, for the funeral ceremonies of the parents, presence of a son is necessary. According to Manu, A man cannot attain moksha (redemption) unless he has a son to light his funeral pyre. These socio-rituals factors including illiteracy and orthodox society norms lead to crave for a male baby, discarding the females one after another[12].

  • Technological factors: Female foeticide is a latest trend of long established gender bias. We are civilized with time and our killing female babes have also been civilized. The presence of low-cost technologies like ultrasound, have led to sex-based abortion of female foetuses, and an increasingly smaller percentage of girls born each year[13].


  • Population Policy: Indian family planning policies promote a two-child family and health workers say this often leads to abortion of female foetuses in efforts to have “complete family” with at least one son[14].

The practice of Dowry can be defined as the root cause of this evil practice. People had made a mindset that more the number of men in the family, more they’ll be earning and then get payee for in cash or kind at the time of marriage, whereas they have to do the opposite in case The practice went to its peak in 1990’s with the introduction of ultrasound machines, detecting the sex of the unborn child. Though many steps have been initiated by the Government in this regard still the stats of male to female ratio are shameful. It further led to crimes like increase in human trafficking. Girls were sold to places where fewer numbers were remaining as a result of female foeticide. The situation is really pathetic.

  • Male Children are a Better Investment.”The main reason is the idea that the male offspring will better support the family. Since sons are seen as the main source of income, even though today, women have many career options, the common misconception still remains that it is the male who will help run the house and look after his parents, while women are viewed as being like cargo, something to be shipped off to another household[15].
  • “Female Children Are a Gamble.”In India, the age-old dowry system puts a damper on the spirits of those who are blessed with a girl child. When a girl is born, the parents begin to calculate the expense of her future marriage, the lump sum that will paid to the future groom’s family. They worry that currency may depreciate and inflation may skyrocket. Because of this, the birth of a girl is seen as a tragedy waiting to happen[16].
  • Women Don’t Have Status in Society.As a result of institutional and cultural sexism, female children and adults have less power, status, rights, and money. Even as adults, it’s harder for females to take care of or make decisions for themselves[17]. Centuries of repression have made inferiority second nature to most women who have been taught the role of the meek, submissive, docile wife who works relentlessly to cater to the whims of her husband.
  • Foul Medical Ethics. With the legalization of abortion in India, illegal sex determination and termination of pregnancies have become everyday realities. Professionals in the medical field are only too glad to help parents realize their dream of a healthy baby boy. Female feticide is openly discussed in the medical profession and many pin boards outside clinics have advertisements for abortion that read, “Pay Rs. 500 [$10 US] today to save the expense of Rs. 500 000 [$10,000 US] in the future.”[18] The cost of an abortion is nothing compared to the expense of having a child, especially a girl.
  • Industrial Growth.Industrialization of the health sector has further established the practice of sex selective abortion. With the advent of CVS, amniocentesis, and ultrasound, sex determination of the foetus has become much easier[19]. These manufacturers of high-tech equipment and gadgets benefit from the preference for male children. Many hospitals are known to sign long-term contracts with the firms involved in the production of these types of machines.
  • Increased availability of advanced technologies: especially ultra-sonography (USG) has been the single most important factor responsible for decrease in sex ratios and increase in female feticides[20]. The easy availability of mobile scanning machines has translated into brisk business for doctors[21].

Sex selection techniques became popular in the western and north-western states in the late 70s and early 80s whilst they are becoming popular in the South now. The sex of a foetus can be determined at 13-14 weeks of pregnancy by trans-vaginal sonography and by 14-16 weeks through abdominal ultrasound. These methods have rendered early sex determination inexpensive, feasible and easily accessible. Although various preconception techniques that help in choosing the foetal sex have been described, their use is not widespread due to higher costs. The most important factor responsible for decreasing child sex ratio is the low status of Indian women coupled with traditional gender bias. The needs with regards to health, nutrition and education of a girl child have been neglected. As mentioned above, in the Vedic Age (1500-1000 BC), they were worshipped as goddesses[22]. However, with the passage of time, their status underwent significant and sharp decline and they were looked down upon as slaves of slaves. Studies report that women in southern India enjoy a better status irrespective of their literacy in comparison to their north Indian counterparts.

Cultural reasons

The reasons behind female foeticide and infanticide: are almost always cultural, rather than directly religious. Some of the reasons are –

  • Anti-female bias: Societies that practice female infanticide always show many other signs of bias against females. Women are perceived as subservient because of their role as careers and homemakers, whilst men predominantly ensure the family’s social and economic stability[23].
  • Family economics: Girl babies are often killed for financial reasons.
  • Potential pensions:  In many societies, parents depend on their children to look after them in their old age. But in many of these cultures a girl leaves her parental family and joins her husband’s family when she marries. The result is that parents with sons gain extra resources for their old age, when their sons marry, while parents with daughters lose their ‘potential pensions’ when their daughters marry and move away[24].
  • Dowry: It is well beyond the capacity of many families to afford, especially in rural areas. People don’t want to have such financial burdens like loans, debts etc[25]. Preference for the male child is because a male in the family is traditionally considered to be a source of money, source of respect, source of name and fame.
  • Socio-cultural factors: The practice is more in urban areas than in rural areas; upper class people practice it more as compared to the lower class. It is a common belief that males are the carriers of family name; family occupation. Males perform the last rites of their dead parents. Males are the bread winners and at the same time people believe that the females have no role to play in family name, occupation and last rites. This mind set, even after the society and its culture is changing, is continuing

The people behind female foeticide and infanticide

Male family members are the major decision-makers in the practice of female infanticide. However, their horrible role is suppressed and generally only the mother-in-law and “dais”, local unqualified nurses, are portrayed as villainesses. The husband and father in-law, though not directly involved in the act, are the ultimate decision makers for the crime.

Mother-in-laws: Ultimately the mother-in-law is pictured as the culprit for the crime. However, it should not be forgotten that without the active support of the male members of the family such ghastly crime cannot take place. There are also several instances wherein husbands threatened their wives not to come home with female babies. There is a great deal of psychological pressure placed upon the women, following the fact that if they produce more female babies, the husband may opt to marry another woman.

The “Dais”: In earlier days, when hospitals and medical facilities did not reach the rural areas, the daises were a source of assistance to the villagers. Some turn to Dais, who specializes in sex selection, letting the baby boys live and killing the baby girls[26].

Elders in the family: In many cases, when the elders in the family know that yet another girl child is born, they even refuse to see child’s face. In every family the father/male heads the family. He d determines each act of his house; hence, the committing of female infanticide cannot go unnoticed.

In traditional Indian culture, the female, and especially the mother is revered and there are significant female oriented religious cults and observances in the dominant Indian religion, i.e. Hinduism. However, there have always been significant restrictions on the freedom of a woman in all major Indian religious traditions. The Manusamhita, which tends to drive traditional Hindu rituals and accompanied behaviour in Northern India, clearly specifies an inferior role for women as a whole, and specially wives. While the Independence Movement earlier and the Indian Constitution later codified formal equality of men and women, the laws are often very difficult to implement. In the context of a deeply conservative social structure, enforcing women’s rights runs right into the patriarchal views of the larger society. For example, even though dowry, a practice where parents of brides have to pay large gifts to the groom’s family, has been outlawed, there has been very little prosecution over the years[27].

In a traditionalist, agrarian society where the vast majority of Indians still live today, children are viewed as sources of labour and future income. Male children are valued since they can perform physical labour, and will likely fetch a dowry at time of marriage. Daughters are physically weaker, socially restricted from performing labour, and may offer the prospect of severe financial hardship for families at the time of weddings (cost of weddings are usually borne by the bride’s family). The reality, as usual, is complex. The five lowest states by sex ratio in India are Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. By per capita income, the poorest states are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur and Assam. Interestingly, Punjab & Haryana are among the wealthiest states by per capita income, suggesting that it is not just economic deprivation that causes families to kill their girl children. In fact, the so-called Northern Hindi belt states are all below the national average, while all the Southern states are above; it provides anecdotal evidence to us that culture, and not just economic deprivation, plays a significant role in the attitude towards women.

Ironically, the increase in female feticide in India is likely a sad side effect of material progress, as well as aided by policies that would normally enhance women’s rights. Abortion was legalized in India in 1971 allowing for abortion in the case of rape, genetic abnormalities for the child, physical/mental health of the woman, as well as failure of birth control devices adopted by the parents. In practice, it is almost entirely at the discretion of the medical professional involved. Also, given the widespread fears about India’s rapidly rising population, there have been very few practical restrictions on abortion rights. The door was opened for sex-selective abortion in India and the ability to detect genetic abnormalities via medical ultrasound in the child also yielded sex data.

Sex selection appears to have played a major role in causing the deterioration observed in child sex ratio. Excess female mortality among infants and children contributes only moderately to the deficit of girls. The Indian Medical Association estimates that five million female foetuses are aborted each year. India’s child sex ratio (0-6 years) has declined from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and now to the lowest since independence: 914 females per 1,000 males in 2011. Overall sex ratios in the national capital New Delhi and two adjacent states Punjab & Haryana are below 900 per 1,000 m males as of the 2011 census.[28]

An unbalanced sex ratio, especially in the northern states, has serious implications on social stability. We can foresee gender-related crime growing; the traditional family structure disturbed; the proliferation of prostitution and crimes against women as well as acceleration in the growth of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS. As men see women as the vulnerable group who are a becoming numerically smaller, and the prospects for marriage recede, the incidence of gang rapes can only rise.

The Long-Term Consequences of Aborting Female Foetuses

As Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The after-effects of the genocide of female feticide are far-reaching.

Skewed Sex Ratio: In India, the number of girls is declining with each passing decade. From 962 and 945 girls for every 1000 boys in the years 1981 and 1991 respectively, the ratio plummeted to a low of 914 girls born for 1000 boys in 2011. In China, the ratio is an alarming 100 girls for 118 boys (or 848 girls for 1000 boys). These are just two examples of nations trapped in vicious abortion cycles, but there are many other countries struggling with skewed sex ratios, as well. See below for more statistics from other countries[29].

  • Female/Women Trafficking:The steep decline in the number of girls makes them scarce for the teaming number of males eligible for marriage. As a result, illegal trafficking of women has become commonplace in many regions. Women, often young girls who’ve just crossed the threshold of puberty, are compelled to marry. Many young girls are kidnapped from their parents and sold to the highest bidder. Child marriages and pregnancies have a devastating consequence[30].
  • Increase in Rape and Assault: Once women become an endangered species, the instances of rape, assault, and violence become widespread. When there are fewer available females, the surviving ones will be faced with the reality of handling a society driven by a testosterone high. The legal system may offer protection and, as is the situation today, many crimes may not ever surface for fear of isolation, humiliation, and punishment on the girl’s part.
  • Population Decline:With no mothers to bear children (male or female), there will be fewer births, leading to a decline in population.
  • Unbalanced sex ratio: The child sex ratio for the age group of 0-6 years has currently 927 per 1000 boys. Punjab has 798 girls, Haryana 819, Delhi 868 and Gujarat 883 per 1000 boys. It is found that there is a gradual decline in the sex ratio from 1901 to 1941 due to infanticides and foeticides and there is a fluctuation in the sex ratio. Here one thing is attracting our attention that though there is substantial increase in the overall sex ratio in India from 1991-2001, there is drastic decline in the child sex ratio (CSR). The overall sex ratio increased from 929 to 933 during 1991 and 2001, but the CSR fall from 945 to 927 during that period .This fall in CSR indicates that during the 1991-2001 there may substantial female foeticide. As the sex CSR declines, in near future overall sex ratio will do the same. This imbalance would have serious repercussions for Indian society in future, especially on the status of women, leading to increased sexual violence including prostitutions, trafficking and the reduced mobility of women. Recent reports in local media said young men in Punjab and Haryana were finding it hard to find brides. Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla all these special names have one thing in common, “they were all women”.. And one will come when the females will be disappeared from the earth i.e. the human race will also face the extinction[31].
  • Psychological impact: The psychological impact of female foeticide and infanticide vary according to the woman, her culture and the circumstances. Short term impact may be feelings of shock, a paralyzing fear of injury or death, and a profound sense of loss of control over one’s life. In the long term, there may be profound feelings of shame or guilt, depression, anxiety and grief, characterized by persistent fears, avoidance of situations that trigger memories of the violation, difficulty in remembering events, intrusive thoughts of the abuse, decreased ability to respond to life in general and difficulty in re-establishing intimate relationships.
  • Sociological impact: The practices of female infanticide and foeticide disrupt the social structures of communities. Widespread gender based and sexual violence adds this disruption still further in interfamilial relationships. Bonds within families can be irreparably damaged when children have seen their families kill the newborn girl babies. This creates wrong values for the children and also the future development in the society
  • Impact on Health: The victims often present vague complaints that are difficult to diagnose and treat. Female foeticide leads to unsafe motherhood due to complications of abortion. Due to this, in India, abortion deaths per year have increased many folds. Women who undergo sex selective abortions may end up aborting fetus after fetus, continuing the cycle until they have a son. These repetitive abortions can only damage their reproductive health.
  • Impact on Sex ratio: Communities with low sex ratios tend to be more dependent and leads to low female literacy rates, poor health, low employment rates, greater incidence of domestic violence and crime against women.
  • Impact on the Mother: The impact, both mental and physical, on the woman forced to undergo repeated abortions may be tremendous. The onset of every new pregnancy can bring on bouts of terror and anxiety about the sex of the foetus. Medically, repeated abortions can cause irregular and heavy menstruation leading to anaemia.

Is an Imbalance in the Number of Females Born a Real Problem?

Yes, indeed. When calculated for the entire population, the widespread disparity is more visible and alarming and may prove critical for the country’s development in political, economic, and emotional spheres. The sex ratios of other countries are listed below:

Vietnam: 892 females /1000 males

South Korea: 934 females /1000 males

USA: 962 females /1000 males

Canada: 943 females /1000 males

UK: 952 females /1000 males

Prevention and Solution

Do the facts listed above truly spell disaster for the future of women? Maybe not. The issues of female infanticide, female feticide, and selective sex abortion have gained global attention, and many international and national lawmaking bodies have come forward to stop this cruel practice. Of the numerous steps taken to curb the matter, the prominent ones are:

  • Cancellation/permanent termination of the doctor’s license who aborts a foetus simply because of its gender.
  • Heavy penalty imposed on companies like GE that specialize in marketing medical equipment used for illegal sex determination and abortion in unlicensed clinics and hospitals.
  • High fines and judicial action against parents who knowingly try to kill their unborn baby.
  • Widespread campaigns and seminars for young adults and potential parents to enlighten them about the ill effects of female feticide.

Ignorance is one of the major causes for selective sex abortion cases. Spreading awareness can go a long way in saving our future sisters, mothers, girlfriends and wives.

A cohesive and concerted effort by everyone can prove to be the requisite baby step in the right direction. We might not support the notion of women rising above men, becoming the dominant sex, or conquering the world, but the basic humane consideration to let an innocent child live and see the world she was conceived to grow in is not too much to ask. Let’s not be murderers of our own flesh and blood.

Institutional measures:

  • PNDT (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act-1994: Maharashtra is the first state in country to ban pre-natal sex determination through the enactment of Maharashtra regulation of prenatal diagnostics techniques act. Similar efforts at the national level resulted in the enactment of the Central pre-natal diagnostic techniques (Regulation and prevention of misuse) Act 1994.The act has two aspects viz., regulatory and preventive. It seeks to regulate the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for legal or medical purposes and prevent misuse for illegal purposes there is a central supervisory board, appropriate authorities and advisory committees.
  • The Supreme Court of India has issued notices to the Indian government and the states and union territories on a petition seeking stricter implementation of laws that ban pre-natal sex selection tests and sex-selective abortions in India. A concerned Supreme Court observed that the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 1994 (PCPNDT) that is meant to prevent female foeticide in India, has failed. The petition brought to the court’s attention the rampant practice of sex-selective abortions in many parts of the country, with doctors indiscriminately conducting sex-determination tests and carrying out abortions because of lax implementation of the PCPNDT Act.

  • UNICEF is committed to protecting every child from violence, exploitation, abuse and discrimination.

  • The government would declare January 24, 2010 as the national girl child day with a focus on targeting the scourges of female foeticide, domestic violence and malnutrition.

  • Individual and group appeals and initiatives: In modern India, there have always been the protests against female infanticides by various national leaders like Vidyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, and Mahatma Gandhi a few names to mention.

  • In the very recent decades, many persons from different walks of life have protested against the female foeticides:

Describing female foeticide as a “disgrace” to society Mrs.Pratibha Patil India’s first women President has called upon the medical fraternity to ensure that diagnostic tests are not misused for pre-natal gender determination.

Mrs Meira Kumar first women Lok Sabha Speaker said, “Women have great power hidden within them. Even the Mahatma believed in this and decided to involve them in the freedom struggle. However, today we live in a country where rampant female foeticide and female infanticide take place.

Raveena Tandon, an actress who has been associated with numerous NGOs and social activities was in the Pink City recently to promote a campaign aimed at saving the girl child.

Hindu religious leaders have decided to launch a crusade against female foeticide in Mathura. Eminent politicians of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, social workers and poets are expected to attend the inaugural function scheduled for tomorrow at the Vatsalya Gram Vrindavan here, Sadhvi Ritambhara, the chief architect of the crusade. “Female foeticide is a crime and it has nothing to do with the Hindu religion.

The crusade against it would start on December 16, 2008 with the congregation of saints, Shankaracharyas and social workers.

In our view, the issue of female infanticide or feticide is related to the larger issue of gender equality and respect. Female feticide cannot be combated simply by a legalistic approach. All the best-intentioned campaigns or laws will be completely irrelevant unless society as a whole learns to treat women with respect. India has never had a strong feminist movement, and it is still common for women to completely defer to their father or husband for making crucial life decisions such as marriage, career, children etc. Unless the entire mindset of society improves, and with it the position of women, only very terrible consequences can result from the continuing violence that the women of India face from birth, and sometimes even before they are born.

The Government and NGOs are making many legal attempts to prevent female infanticide. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to check female foeticide, which includes legislative measures, awareness generation as well as programmes for socio-economic empowerment of women. The steps taken by the government to prevent female foeticide under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, PC & PNDT Act include the following: Reconstitution of statutory bodies under the Act and regular meetings of the Central Supervisory Board, State Supervisory Board and Advisory Committees to monitor effective implementation of the law; Rule 11(2) of the PC & PNDT Rules, 1996 has been amended to provide for confiscation of unregistered machines and further punishment of organizations which fail to register themselves under the Act; Dedicated PNDT cells have been set up at State/district level for enhancing in-house capacities for building credible cases for conviction against violations of the Act; Surprise field inspections of ultrasound clinics by the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) in states/UTs against violations under the Act;

Of the numerous steps taken to curb the matter, the prominent ones are:

Cancellation of the doctor’s license who partakes in fulfilling a client’s demand to do away with her girl child;

Heavy penalty imposed on companies, which specialize in marketing medical equipments used for illegal sex determination and abortion in unlicensed clinics and hospitals;

High fines and judicial action against ‘parents’ who knowingly try to kill their unborn baby;


Female foeticide is a horrific and illegal practice that has got to be stopped. The way to do this is by implementation of stronger laws and bringing about a change in the mind-set of our countrymen – uphill tasks, but absolutely crucial nevertheless.

[1] Miller (1987), pp. 97–98: “Most broadly defined, infanticide applies to the killing of children under the age of twelve months (deaths after that age would generally be classified as child homicide, although the definition and, hence, duration of childhood is culturally variable).”

[2] Scott (2001), pp. 6-7: Citing Harris, Marvin (1989). Our Kind: Who We Are, Where We Came From, Where We Are Going. Harper & Row. pp. 213, 226–227.

[3] Chandran et al (2002), Post-partum depression in a cohort of women from a rural area of Tamil Nadu, India: Incidence and risk factors, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 181(6), pp. 499–504

[4]  A Sen (1983), Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford University Press

[5] Gupta and Shuzhuo, Gender Bias in China, South Korea and India 1920–1990: Effects of War, Famine and Fertility Decline, Development and Change, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp. 619–652, July 1999

[6] William Digby, The Famine Campaign in Southern India (Madras and Bombay): 1876–1878, pp. 458–459, Longmans London

[7]  IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PCPNDT ACT IN INDIA – Perspectives and Challenges Public Health Foundation of India, Supported by United Nations FPA (2010)

[8] Padma Anagol, The Emergence of the Female Criminal in India: Infanticide and Survival under the Raj, History Workshop Journal, No. 53 (Spring, 2002), pp. 73–93

[9] JAN GRAFFELMAN and ROLF F. HOEKSTRA, A Statistical Analysis of the Effect of Warfare on the Human Secondary Sex Ratio, Human Biology, Vol. 72, No. 3 (June 2000), pp. 433-445

[10] R. Giriraj, Changing Attitude to Female Infanticide in Salem, Journal of Social Welfare, Vol. 50, No. 11, February 2004, pp.13–14 & 34–35

[11] M Spinelli (2002), Infanticide: contrasting views, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 8(1), pp. 15–24

[12] Chandra et al, Infanticidal ideas and infanticidal behavior in Indian women with severe postpartum psychiatric disorders, J Nerv Ment Dis. 2002 Jul, 190(7), pp. 457–61

[13] Sl Tandon and R Sharma, Female Foeticide and Infanticide in India: An Analysis of Crimes against Girl Children, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 1(1), pp. 1–7, January 2006

[14] Tulsi Patel (2007). Sex-Selective Abortion in India: Gender, Society and New Reproductive Technologies. SAGE Publications. p. 242, 419.

[15]  Veena Talwar Oldenburg; Veena Talwar (2010). Dowry Murder: Reinvestigating A Cultural. Penguin Books India. p. 23

[16] W. H. McLeod (24 July 2009). The A to Z of Sikhism. Scarecrow Press. pp. 65–66, 119

[17]  Quintin Craufurd (1817). Researches Concerning the Laws, Theology, Learning, Commerce Etc. of Ancient and Modern India. – London, T. Cadell & W. Davies 1817. T. Cadell & W. Davies. pp. 344–345.

[18] Age Data – Single Year Age Data – C13 Table (India/States/UTs ) Population Enumeration Data (Final Population) – 2011, Census of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

[19] Goodkind, Daniel (1999). “Should Prenatal Sex Selection be Restricted?: Ethical Questions and Their Implications for Research and Policy”. Population Studies 53 (1): 49–61

[20] Kraemer, Sebastian. “The Fragile Male.” British Medical Journal (2000): n. pag. British Medical Journal. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.

[21] Nandi, A.; Deolalikar, A. B. (2013). “Does a legal ban on sex-selective abortions improve child sex ratios? Evidence from a policy change in India”. Journal of Development Economics 103: 216–228.

[22] Kamlesh Mohan (2006). Towards Gender History: Images, Identities, and Roles of North Indian Women with Special Reference to Panjab. Aakar. pp. 37, 52.

[23]  Mike Davis (2004), Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development and Social Movements, pp. 44–49, Routledge

[24] A Sen (1983), Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford University Press

[25] A Sen (1983), Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford University Press

[26] Hawkes, Kristen (March 1981), “A Third Explanation for Female Infanticide”, Human Ecology 9 (1): 79–96,

[27] Winkler, Theodor H. (2005). “Slaughtering Eve The Hidden Gendercide”. Women in an Insecure World (PDF). Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.

[28] Snehi, Yogesh (11 October 2003), “Female Infanticide and Gender in Punjab: Imperial Claims and Contemporary Discourse”, Economic and Political Weekly 38 (41): 4302–4305,

[29] Age Data C13 Table (India/States/UTs ) Final Population – 2011 Census of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (2013)

[30]  Age Data – Single Year Age Data – C13 Table (India/States/UTs ) Population Enumeration Data (Final Population) – 2011, Census of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

Author: Ankita Jain, BA LLB 3rd year, Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University.

Disclaimer: This article has been published in “Legal Desire International Quarterly Journal (ISSN: 2347-3525), page no. 120. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from Legal Desire. All Rights Reserved.


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