The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

India's girls are disappearing

Baby Anushka was almost not born

Are you valued?

Are you valued because you’re a girl?

Imagine not being valued because you’re a girl...

In some parts of India, there is a trend of placing far more importance on having boys than girls. This has led to abortions of female fetuses. The belief is that having a boy is much more beneficial for the family, as girls do not bring in dowries (dowries have been illegal in India since 1961). While some mothers continue having baby girls despite this belief, the ratio of boys to girls is changing and if it continues will lead to an unhealthy balance. While there is are strategies to protect India’s baby girls (sex-selective abortions are illegal), they are generally seen as not enforced and not working.

India’s abortion rates are on the rise as many middle class and well off families are able to afford to check the sex of the baby at an early stage and can then decide what to do if it’s a girl. Many of these abortions are forced.

For more on this topic, and to see what the Indian state of Bihar is doing, read "India's unwanted girls."

-Julie Anne Young
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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