On the last International Women’s Day (March 8, 2021) an Indian web said “For a country that is home to the second largest population of women in the world and which has spiritually put women on a pedestal of Goddess, the women in India have continued to suffer from rampant discrimination in all aspects of life, right from gender selection before birth to continued severe restrictions on access to education, nutrition, health, employment, safety and every other right that men take for granted.” (read more HERE and HERE).
An interesting initiative to alleviate Indian’s women current status and prevent abortion
In India, much sex-selective abortion in India and infanticides take place to end the lives of girls, so Dr. Rakh, a gynecologist in the city of Pune, decided nine years ago that the births of girls taking place in his gynecology hospital would be free of charge and, moreover, would be celebrated. At first, not even his own family supported him in this decision, but time has proved him right, and today he has already attended 1,700 deliveries.
A great initiative to avoid sex-selective abortion in India
Nine years ago, Dr. Ganesh Rakh, a gynecologist in the city of Pune in India, made the decision that he would waive his fees for the delivery of a baby girl at his gynecology hospital, in order to prevent their abortion.
In 2012, after the first free delivery of a girl at Dr. Rakh’s clinic, the “Save the Girl Child” movement began to fight the stigma of having a female child in India. Since then, many other doctors have joined the movement and provided free or discounted deliveries; furthermore, the Indian Government even launched its own campaign in 2015, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child).
Current status of women in India
To understand the importance of Dr. Rakh’s initiative, we need to understand the status of women in India. Indian women suffer serious discrimination from birth, but if, in addition, when they grow up and marry, they give birth to a girl, their husbands believe in the right to beat or disfigure them with acid for not having aborted the child. In fact, ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby has been banned since 1994 in order to try to prevent selective abortions, a measure that has failed, since they have increased at present.
The problems for Indian women become worse when their marriages are arranged. At that time, the bride’s parents must pay a dowry to the groom’s family in order for them to accept the marriage. In many cases, families go bankrupt to pay for it, but husbands often find the price paid insufficiently. Thus, they think they have the right to mistreat their wives if they give birth to a daughter.
In Jaya’s case, her husband sprayed her with acid after she gave birth to a girl, causing injuries to her face and arms. More than ten years later, she continues to undergo surgery to try to regain mobility in her arms.
Another problem facing India is the shortage of women; because of selective abortions and infanticides of girls, men cannot find women to marry (see HERE). Read another demographic data of this politics in a previous article HERE.
Our assessment about discrimination suffered by women
In order to explain the reasons for this tragic and unacceptable situation, we must first take into account the discrimination suffered by women in some societies, which represents, in addition to an intolerable attack on their dignity, a sure path to the decline of a society, as well as an attempt to abolish the family institution, the essential nucleus of any culture.
Moreover, the indiscriminate application of fertility regulation techniques, including contraception, sterilization and sex-selective abortion in India, promoted in many countries, also reveals its terrible consequences. Aside from being an attack on the dignity of people — aborted children, and women subjected to these procedures — it allows us to glimpse the sinister face of the huge demographic problem that is causing entire nations, such as India or China, to falter in their aggressive birth control policies.
Promoting respect for individual freedom, hand in hand with the development of policies that protect the family institution such as financial support, education and social integration, continues to be the best way not only to give people dignity but also to contribute to the true progress of communities.