Monday, January 09, 2006

What it feels like for a girl...

Up to 10 million female fetuses have been selectively aborted in India since 1976, according to a Canadian-led study released Monday in a British medical journal.

The study in the Lancet found fewer daughters were born to couples still presumed to be trying for a boy, said Dr. Prabhat Jha, director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Researchers also found the probability that a female fetus was aborted was more than twice as likely among educated mothers than illiterate ones. However, once a boy was born, the gender ratio was roughly equal, said the report.

"We conservatively estimate that prenatal sex determination and selective abortion account for 0.5 million missing girls yearly," Jha wrote.


Daughters are often regarded as a liability in India because they leave their families after marriage and "belong" to their husband's families. Many families must also borrow money to pay a dowry to the families of the husbands.

More at the C.B.C..

I understand that there are very specific cultural factors at work here, but it still upsets me that in many instances, it is still not okay to be born female. Nothing makes a person feel more unwanted than being viewed "as a liability."

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