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The Missing Girls: Female Infanticide

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Jessica Abram

on 11 February 2011

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Transcript of The Missing Girls: Female Infanticide

The Missing Girls Female Infanticide 50 Million Missing Girls In India 40 Million Missing Girls In China 10 Million Missing Girls In Other Countries 100 Million Missing Girls World Wide What Has Happened To These Girls? Female Infanticide is the homicide of an infant girl as part of a cultural act. This act is in part defined by the age of the victim.
The person that often commits this act is the mother. In cases where the mother does not commit the act the act is commited by other family members.
Female Infanticide as a cultural act has been around since antiquity. Cultures where Female Infanticide takes place also have cases of Female Foeticide. How Do The Families Perpetrate
Female Infanticide? Family members will:
feed the baby dried unhulled rice to puncture her windpipe
force the baby to swallow poisonous powedered fertilizer
smother the baby with a wet towel
strangle the baby
allow the baby to starve to death
drown the baby
wrap the baby in a wet towel and leave it to get pneumonia What Are The Origins of Female Infanticide? Svo; Female Infanticide is said to have been around since
anitquity. Some scholars have said that Female Infanticide
was created as a way to deal with the ever present famine
and starvation. Female Infanticide was a way in which families
could limit the size of the family, with smaller family sizes
there were less mouths to feed.
Other scholars have stated Female Infanticide was created
to eliminate the costs of raising a female child. In China Female Infanticide can be traced
back to 1000 B.C. Scholars have said that
Female Infanticide in China came about as
a way to ease financial burdens on the family.
In India Female Infanticide has been around for thousands of years. Scholars have stated that Female Infanticide came about in India because of the system of hypergamy.
Other scholars have stated that Female Infanticide became used in India to combat the costs of paying a dowries. What Is The Status Of Female Infanticide Today? Female Infaticide is still a large part of
culture in China. The reason for Female
Infanticide in China today is different
then from the past. The high cost of
raising a girl still plays a role but the
main reason for Female Infanticide in
China is the One Child Policy. In India Female Infanticide is still very prominent. The high costs and liabilities of raising girls have contributed to the continuation of Female Infanticide in India. There are areas of India where women are more equal to men but now those areas are starting to practice Female Infanticide. The severity of the Female Infanticide problem in India is contributing to other problems the
country is currently encountering. What Are The Different Views of
Female Infanticide? Those that support Female Infanticide
see no problem with the practice.
Some women from India and China that
support Female Infanticide said that "being
a woman is a curse."
Another argument those that support
Female Infanticide use is that it is an action
that needs to be done for the benfit of
the family. They need males to carry on the
family name and females are expensive and
risky to raise. Those that are against Female Infanticide
argue that this act is genocide. A similar
term used to describe Female Infanticide
that has come into use within the last 25
years is the term gendercide.
This group also argues that Female Infanticide is a violation of Human Rights and Children Rights.
Those against Female Infanticide also argue that this issue is part of the cause of other Human Rights issues. What Human Rights Does Female Infanticide Violate? Below are three of the Human Rights that Female
Infaticide violates:
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. What Is Being Done About Female Infanticide? The Chinese Government has acted against Female Infanticide, making it illegal to to commit infanticide through drowning and other methods. The problem is that there is not enough enforcment of the law and that there are loop holes that people are able to make use of. Another problem that the Chinese government has in combating Female Infanticide is that it takes none of the blame for the problem.
The elite in China have taken on some of the challenge of Female Infanticide as they are responsible for the creation of orphanages and hospices which take in the unwanted baby girls.
Some regions of China have also created infant protection societies. These societies help with in the region but can not do anything for those outside its bounderies. The Indian Government has done even less then the
Chinese Government to combat Female Infanticide. The Indian Government made it illegal to find out the sex of the child before its born. The problem is that the law is not enforced by government officials or doctors. The Indian Government has also outlawed dowries, but this law as well is full of loop holes and is rarely enforced.
In some areas the government has set up orphanages for parents to drop off their unwanted baby girls, no questions asked. One state in India has set up a Girl Protection Program. NGO's, activists and other outside organizations and people
have taken on the challenge of putting an end to Female Infanticide. Groups have campaigned against Female Infanticide and have also been educating the population. These attempts are small and individualized to the place. This creates a problem as there is not one overriding movement against Female Infanticide.
The United Nations has taken a step to try to stop Female Infanticide by creating the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 1993. The problem this runs into is how to enforce the Declaration and whether or not the particular country signs and ratifies the Declaration. China and India have different cultural reasons for allowing Female Infanticide to take place, is one more justified then the other or are either one justifiable?
Why? An effort has been made by the Indian and Chinese governments and outside organizations to try to stop Female Infanticide. Of what has been done, is that enough to elminate Female Infanticide? Why/Why Not? If not enough has been done what can be done and how? What is Female Infanticide? How Is The Act of Female Infanticide Committed? Where Is Female Infanticide At Today? What Actions Have Governments and Organizations Taken To
Combat Female Infanticide? The Chinese Government has taken action against Female Infanticide. The Chinese Government has outlawed infanticide through drowning and other methods. The problem is that this law is only loosely enforced and full of loop holes that families and doctors take advantage of.
The elites in China have taken action against Female Infanticide by opening orphanages and
hospices for unwanted baby girls. As well in some areas Infant Protection Societies were created.
The Chinese Government will not take any
responsibility for the continuation of Female Infanticide, instead China blames it on the superstition of the people. The Indian Government has taken some action
to put a stop to Female Infanticide. India has made
it illegal to find out the sex of the baby before it is
born. The problem is that the law is not followed by both doctors and government officials. The government also passed a law banning dowries but it is full of loop holes that families can take advantage of.
Some areas in India have set up orphanages
where parents can drop off their unwanted baby
girls no questions asked. In one of the Indian states a Girl Protection Program was set up. Many of the scholars stated that even in Western Culture there is a male preference.
There is little active action against Female Infanticide in the world, even with the high rates of Female Infanticide. If Male Infanticide was done on the same level that Female Infanticide is would there be more action against it? Resources:
Sudha, S and S. Irudaya Rajan. Female Demographic Disadvantage in India 1981-1991: Sex Selective Abortions and Female Infanticide.

Rajan, S Irudaya; S Sudha and P. Mohanachandran. FertIlity Decline and Worsening Gender Bias in India: Is Kerala No Longer an Exception?

Winter, Bronwyn, Denise Thompson and Sheila Jefferys. “The UN Approach to Harmful Traditional Practices.” International Feminist Journal of Politics: April 2002, 4:1 72 - 94.

Mahalingam, Ramaswami; Jana Haritatos and Benita Jackson. “Essentialism and the Cultural Psychology of Gender Extreme Son Preference Communities in India.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry: 2007, Vol 77, No. 4 598 - 609.

Hawkes, Kristen. “A Third Explanation for Female Infanticide.” Human Ecology: 1981, Vol 9, No 1.

Lee, James; Wang Feng. “Malthusian Models and Chinese Realities: The Chinese Demographic System 1700 - 2000.” Population and Development Review: 1999, Vol 25, No 1 33 - 65.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etNaQYE15Zw, Al Jezeera, 101 East Special Female Infanticide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pIMpFQZo1Y, Al Jezeera, 101 East Special Female Infanticide.


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