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Female infanticide and female feticide

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documents in English
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3 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. The past of female infanticide
  3. Making women mothers and murderers
  4. Reasons that lead to female infanticide
    1. Validation for giving birth to sons
  5. The controversy surrounding female feticide
  6. Debate about banning SDT's
  7. Feminist making a philosophical debate about abortion
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

Female infanticide and female feticide represent serious social problems in India. However, these issues also create much debate over a woman's right to choose whether or not to have a child. While women in India do have the right to terminate a pregnancy, there are several legal stipulations that make having an abortion less about giving women rights, and more about controlling women's reproductive capabilities (Menon, 1995). Women often do not choose to have sex-selective abortions; instead their husband and his family pressure them into aborting unwanted female fetuses (Kusum, 1993). Thus, while abortion is legal under specific circumstances, it is often used as a way to selectively breed male children who are preferred in Indian culture. Therefore, many feminists see abortion rights in India as contradictory to feminist discourse because abortion rights are not being used to liberate women, but to re-enforce the cultural preference for sons (Menon, 1995). However, the practices of female feticide and, to a lesser extent, female infanticide are increasing in India, which has led to a declining sex ratio between male and female children: in 2001 the sex ratio was 933 females to 1000 males (Bandyopadhyay, 2003). In comparison, the average global sex ratio at birth (SRB) is 105 males to 100 females; however, in Delhi, India the SRB is 117 to 100 (The President's Council on Bioethics, 2003). Therefore, while there is much debate among feminists about how to curb this problem, it is clear that something must be done to improve the overall position of women in India. However, because of the cultural devaluation of women in India due to son preference, and women's economic drain on families because of expensive dowries and weddings, women face much pressure to give birth to sons (Hegde, 1999). Thus, until the Indian culture views women as assets, rather than burdens, the practices of female infanticide and female feticide will continue.

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