Deadliest place for a girl

So India is officially the deadliest place in the world for a girl child. Apparently

Newly released data shows that an Indian girl child aged 1-5 years is 75% more likely to die than an Indian boy, making this the worst gender differential in child mortality for any country in the world

And I am sure most of us are not even surprised. Of course not, it would have been more surprising had it not been the deadliest place in the world! After all, don’t all know people who say,

– Don’t worry, next time, it will be a boy

– If the first born is a boy, then it is a huge relief

– My first is a boy, so I am comfortable in this pregnancy

– We want a three child family. (This statement when they are told that they are expecting a second daughter. Funnily, when the child was born, and it turned out to be a boy, they were immediately happy with two!)

– You have a girl? And you don’t want to have another child? Don’t you have pressure from your in-laws to have a boy?

And all this from professionals, people who are educated, well-traveled, and who you would think would know better! And all this from people my age. Not age old aunties or older people set in their ways, but young people, who have had the benefit of education, and awareness, who have no real excuse for thinking this way! Despite the circumstances, the preference for a male child remains strong across classes. When we have such negativity, it is not difficult to understand why the girl child’s mortality rate is higher than a male child’s in India, despite the fact that biological factors actually favor the girl child.

Is it any surprise that India is a country where we would do anything to not have a girl?

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36 thoughts on “Deadliest place for a girl

  1. YEs no matter what anyone says the good the bd the ugly , the educated not so educated. the illetrates .. THe basically almost everyone wants a boy in the house ..

    I just don’t understand how this attitude will change.

    there are exceptions sure..

    preference for male child is there will be there always .. and as you summed up in the last line we will do anything to get rid of that girl child..

    So sad, isn’t it?

    situations are so bad let me tell you in punjab people are BUYING women from other states or nepal to find WIVES.. so the family could go on.. because girls are hard to find for marriage of their sons ..

    and yet we say we are a nation which is developing so fasttttttttttttttt… and they have the hyporcracy to tell me that… anyway let me not go on and on , you know what i mean ..
    Makes you wonder what sort of development is happening when one half of the population is not considered equal?

  2. Really…even in this day and age Indians prefer to have male children even amongst our generation?? I thought it was the thing of the past…

    I wish it were a thing of the past!
    I do remember some relatives trying to console me when I had my second daughter and I thought to myself, I’m so thrilled with my baby…why is everyone consoling me?”..
    I cannot say how happy I am to have two girls and at one point I actually wanted to adopt a girl, so I could have three girls!! πŸ™‚
    Girls Rock!!! πŸ™‚

    I am a proud mother of a daughter as well πŸ™‚ The blatant bias makes me wild. It is so common – When I was growing up, I knew families who would celebrate the sons’ birthdays while the daughters merited no celebrations 😦

  3. Don’t be surprised Smitha if somebody says this is just some kind of conspiracy and actually Indians worship women, and parents of new born baby girls are comforted, reassured congratulated with ‘Laxmi ayee hai’ 😐

    • IHM, I have actually seen that too 😦 Most people will vehemently deny that there is anything wrong because young girls are worshipped, and the ‘we have so many goddesses’ excuse! Someone we know here had a boy, when the scans had told them it would be a girl. The grandmother proudly paraded the little boy saying, ‘Yeh to miracle ho gaya!’ It makes me so wild!!!

  4. I think I have reached my saturation point. These issues never let me live in peace. I feel dismayed at all times. I just left a comment on IHM’s blog and now I have no energy to feel anymore. I’ll come back here once I can construct meaningful sentences.

  5. sigh! All I want is to hear is “we just want a healthy child” from the expecting parents and their family. When will this stupid bias end?? Sometimes, education and a fancy degree simply can’t buy you common sense!! 😑

    • ‘Sometimes, education and a fancy degree simply can’t buy you common sense!!’ – That I have come to realize! The mindset still remains the same, for some people!

  6. Deeply saddening isnt it? A nation where we worship Goddesses, but dont flinch even for a second while killing our own daughters..how much more hypocritical can it get! 😦 😦

  7. Okay, first – you still read TOI πŸ™‚ Now, to the point – Yes, India is bad for women. We have all been there, grown out and continue to keep going back. Yes, we still believe boy babies mean eternity. And cases like baby falak leave me in tears. I cannot believe I am one of that strata as well. It is very sad. Personally, I think deadliest is too gross to use.

    Lets not even get started on Lakshmi, Ganges. I may explode in angst.

  8. Makes me appreciate the fact that I was (and am) highly cherished as a child and grew up with minimal biases. At that time I used to think it was normal but now I’ve come to realise that I am one of the lucky lot. 😐

  9. so they have finally declared it ! oh yes the even most “elite ” educated and the 0.01 % rich want Boys for their children. The very same people “look down” ( or what you have on your hands ) when you have a girl children.
    Yes, I am partial to girls and i blatantly treat my visitors who are little girls with extra pampering – i am more friendly to these girls – more attention than the boy child visitors The parents of the boy child wants them differentiated – that is how you get it from me. period .

    • Talk about the Indian cultural fetish with the boy child . if there was an invention that boys can deliver boys – india will make that happen too – i will be waiting – good riddance women can do without the labor pains and the 9 months of carrying . now which woman wants that ! give it to the boys – take it !

      • I know exactly what you mean! The difference in attitude is so common that most people just accept it – as if it is totally alright. Initially I was surprised to see this attitude amongst my contemporaries.. Later understood that they are just doing what they have seen growing up – with no intention of breaking the cycle…

  10. There are really people of the present generation that speak this way? I find it very hard to even imagine. It is sad indeed. While it shouldn’t matter boy or girl, having a girl is a real blessing. You wouldn’t believe this, but I have seen people of our parents generation who have been proud of having sons, but later in their old age wish that they had had a daughter. Because in the end, a son cannot love and understand a parent like a daughter can.

  11. I seriously dunno what to say. I am reminded of the call that I had recvd after I had delivered “beta accha hai, tumhara pehli baar main hi nishana sahi lag agaya”

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