Attack On the Family

When you consider the concept of a family today, what comes to your mind? In India, the practice known as female infanticide has implications on the country’s family unit. Read on to find out one missionary’s take on the Indian family unit below.

Family is divine in origin and has a specific place in God’s plan for each individual. It was God himself who instituted the first family. And the first attack on man was an attack on his family.

The weakest in the family, the unborn, have been under attack by one name or the other. Somewhere the unborn are eliminated for it impinges on the women’s right to her body. Elsewhere it’s policed abortions under the one-child policy (now relaxed to some extent). The above two constrictions on the life of the unborn, have garnered sufficient attention worldwide. But the female genocide in India perhaps hasn’t.

Female Infanticide and it's implication on the family unit

India’s Child Sex Ratio, the ratio of boys to girls between the ages 0 to 6, has been declining for the last 60 years [1].

But why has this decline been happening?

This decline is primarily attributed to the rampant sex-selective abortions or female foeticide or female infanticide. This female-gendercide or premeditated killing of girls has eliminated at-least 63 million girls & women from the population of India [2]. To put the numbers in perspective, 63 million is more than the entire population of Italy. And 170% of the population of present-day Canada.

To many parents, girls are economically and socially unviable. Unlike sons, their daughters need to be protected. Then, they need to be married off with a dowry. This dowry can then even take away up to a lifetime of savings. The sons socially take care of aging parents and bring home a daughter-in-law along with a hefty dowry. The parents “reap no fruits by raising a daughter”, besides losing money (in dowry) in getting her married.

A complex social base of Indian families, age-old beliefs that assign a subservient role to women, inadequate enforcement of the law (against dowry and protection of girls), and other similar factors foment an aversion to daughters. As a result, many families are unapologetic about ill-feeding, mistreating, and under-educating their daughters. These girls marry, without education or skills or often at an illegal young age, and undergo sex-selective abortions of their own. If they somehow end up giving birth to daughters, then they raise them with the same subjugated identity and beliefs about girls and women, with which they were raised, and are themselves subject to now. 

This aversion of daughters in not limited to the economically disadvantaged. The low-income parents have to give cows in dowry, the affluent ones give BMWs. While the poor lack the means to access ultrasound facilities (to determine the sex of the unborn). Conversely, the rich use state-of-the-art hospitals to get it done blithely. 

Implications of Female Infanticide:

A family is the fundamental unit of society. Treating girls and women as an expendable commodity, a family is then at odds with God’s design of a family, and furthermore, projects the systematic abuse of girls to the society at large. The living God is not a stoic observer of the death of the innocent and undefended. He is intimately mindful of the mass murders of girls and women in India. This is “an issue he cares about and a problem he wants solved” [4].





About the author: Nitin is a missionary in India. He also is a consultant contributing to many projects that empower girls and women. Also, he works with many missions group in India to help educate the population and restore the family to God’s proper design.

We hope this article has helped you understand more about female infanticide in India.

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