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25 Nov

Female Infanticide and Foetal Killing

Female Infanticide and Foetal Killing
Female infanticide refers to killing the infant soon after its birth or at the foetus stage. The former is common amongst certain tribes and caste groups such as the Kallars of Tamil Nadu. The Kallars live in abject poverty. For livelihood they work in illicit liquor distilleries and coconut groves which require more male hands.
The birth of a daughter is burden for them for not only there’s insufficient occupation for her, but dowry has to be given for her wedding and other gifts to be given to her husband’s family on various occasions after the solemnisation of the marriage.
Foetal killing has been a crucial problem in some urban areas. A medical diagnostic process called, amniocentesis, is used in the U.S.A. to check possible deformities of the unborn child. However, this is fast being used by parents to select the sex of their child. Misuse of the sex determination test has been a crucial issue in some urban places in India. This has resulted in a new type femicide i.e., abortion of female foetuses. A survey carried out in Bombay during 1984 revealed that out of 8,000 abortions 7,999 were female foetuses (Government of India 1988: 98). It is reported that in Dharampuri district of Tamil Nadu, the place where female infant mortality rate as per 1991 census was 100. 1, 105 female infants were killed every month in 1997. Testing for sex determination of the unborn child has been now banned in India.

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