Save Girl Child Importance of Girl Child in Indian Society
India is rising. Our country is zooming ahead in all fields that count at break neck speed. The boom in economy, innovative technologies and improved infrastructure are testament to that. Women have provided considerable contribution to this progress, with them taking up every possible job. From preparing the morning breakfast to sending the Orbiter to Mars, they have made their presence felt in every sphere of life. Yet in every strata of the Indian society, there still remains a cloud of apprehension and insecurity when a girl child is born. Discrimination against a girl begins at her conception and shapes up to be the monster she has to fight every moment of her waking existence. Her second rate citizenship is reflected in the denial of fundamental needs and rights and in such harmful attitudes and practices as a preference for sons, female genital mutilation, incest, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, discrimination, early marriage, less food and less access to education. Deep-rooted patriarchal perceptions project women as liabilities. There lurks in the Indian conscience, a foul monster of hypocrisy, when the Kali-Durga-Lakshmi worshippers take no time in putting women down or dismissing them as a mere afterthought.
Reasons for The Flawed Sex Ratio
Traditions and rituals outline the existence of the Indian girl child. Amidst uproars of gender equality and enforcement of laws protecting their wellbeing, female infants are still found dumped in trash, by the dozens. Unborn fetuses continue to be sniffed in the womb and terminated without second consideration if their existence is even hinted at. As more and more female fetuses are still being selectively aborted after illegal pre-natal sex determination, the number of female infants per 1000 male infant is rapidly declining. Skewed sex ratio is a silent emergency. But the crisis is real, and its persistence has profound and frightening implications for society and the future of mankind. Continuing preference for boys in society, for the girl child the apathy continues, the child sex ratio in India has dropped to 914 females against 1,000 males, one of the lowest since Independence according to Census 2011. According to global statistics, the normal child sex ratio should be above 950:1000. While southern states like Kerala can boast of a ratio of 1084 females per 1000 males, the most alarming scenario prevails in the northern states like Haryana, Rajasthan and even Delhi, with number of girl child as low as 830 per 1000 male children.
The basic reason for this sorry state of child sex ratio (0-6 years) is the preference for a male child from social and economic perspectives. Female feticide as well as killing of female infants is the biggest contributor. The four primary reasons behind this, according to experts, are,
(1) Pre-existing low social position of women – Women are still considered second rate citizens who do not have the right to basic freedom and privileges that men enjoy. Their roles are primarily fixed as domestic help, tools for pleasure of their men and instruments for procreation.
(2) Economic burden – Outlook that a girl child is an economic burden is basically due to the prevalence of dowry system still abundant in the society. The evil practice of having to give money to the groom’s side in order to get their daughter married is a huge imposition in a country as poverty ridden as India. As a consequence, many families view every girl being born as a potential source of drainage for their hard earned money.
(3) Illiteracy – absence of education is also a contributing factor where women are continuously being blamed for giving birth to girls. Also lack of education and exposure to world keeps them from realizing the potential of their girl child.
(4) Advancement of Diagnostic Techniques – Through modern diagnostic techniques like Ultrasound and Amniocentesis, it is now possible to know the sex of the fetus as early as 12 weeks into the pregnancy. The government has placed strict regulations prohibiting pre-natal sex determination of fetuses in diagnostic centers and hospitals, but it is still prevalent under wraps, in exchange for bribes.
(5) Post-birth Discriminations Against Girls – In scenarios where pre-natal sex determination is not possible, people use brutal customs to get rid of the girl child if the need arises. Headlines like girl babies found abandoned in dumpsters, public gatherings and even trains are commonplace. In states of Rajasthan and Haryana, at many places new born girl child is drowned in boiling milk and even fed pesticides.
While the overall sex ratio of the country has gone up since the last census in 2001, from 933 to 940 in 2011, the child sex ratio in the age group 0-6 years has plummeted from 927 to 914.
Mizoram has the highest child sex ratio at 971, very similar to Meghalaya at 970. Haryana remains the state with lowest ratio of 830 per 1000 boys. Numbers are slightly better in Punjab with 840.
At the district level, Lahul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh has the highest recorded ratio in that age group at 1013. Jhajjar district of Haryana had the scariest of the numbers, a mere 774 girls against each 1000 boys.
Among the union territories, Daman and Diu has a child sex ratio of 618, while Mahe district in Pondicherry has the highest numbers of 1,176.
Overall, data from the 2011 Census reveals that all 29 states and Union Territories have shown an increase in child sex ratio as compared to the 2001 Census. But the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and Gujarat have shown a decline in the sex ratio compared with the figures of Census 2001.
This decline in child sex ration figures is cause for alarm. At the same time it demands a serious re-thinking of policies to improve it. It is a matter of consolation that the decline rate has slowed down considerably in the last few years, probably due to the side-effect of growing urbanization and its spread to rural areas.
India has been termed as one of the most dangerous place in the world for a girl child to be born. In the most current data released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), for 150 countries, for over a span of 40 years, has revealed that India and China are the only two countries in the world where female infant mortality is higher than male infant mortality in the 2000s. The data also depicts that a girl child between the age of 1 to 5 years is 75% more likely to die than a boy child.
Female feticides and infanticides, coupled with deaths of girl child due to neglect and abuse, have skewed the sex ratio and that may have long term socio-psychological effects. The surplus of males in a society leads to many of them remaining unmarried, and consequent marginalization in society and that may lead to anti-social behavior and violence, threatening societal stability and security. We cannot ignore the implications this man-induced alteration of demographic has on the social violence, human development and overall progress of the country.
Although sounding promising, the current scenario is far from being satisfactory. Despite legal provisions, incentive-based schemes, and media messages, many Indians across all societal strata are shunning the girl child from thriving.
Provisions for Safeguarding the Girl Child
Current policies have been directed towards the symptom rather than targeting the direct root cause. Instead of addressing the basic son preference/daughter aversion and low status of women in India, efforts are being made primarily towards the eradication of sex-selection practices.
The Regulation and Prevention of Misuse of Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act came into force in 1994. It was subsequently amended in 2003 to include prevention of use of pre conception diagnostic techniques as well. It is now called the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act.
The government has introduced plans targeted at countering the common psyche of people regarding girls as burdens. The Balika Samriddhi Yojana and Sukanya Samridhi Yojana have been started by the Government in order to help the girl child prosper and not be perceived as an economic burden. Campaigns like the Save the Girl Child and the more recent Beti Bachao, Beti Padao, have been started to create awareness against atrocities faced by the girl child.
Importance of the Girl Child in Indian Society
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had opined that “Women empowered means mother India empowered” and to have empowered women in future we need to empower our girl child of today. In ancient Indian societies, women enjoyed ample freedom and respect. Present day champions of women excellence in India are numerous – from a woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, to the heroic deeds of Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS officer of India, there should be no doubt that our women. Girls are proficient in balancing multiple roles and they are naturally made for multitasking. Today, girls are applying for jobs that were once considered solely for men and tackling them with élan. Not just in their traditional roles of wife, daughter and mothers, girls are even the sole bread-winner of the family. The question remains of changing our perception about girls being fragile, weak and dependent. In today’s India, they are capable of anything. With projects like the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya aimed at providing young girls an increased chance at education, an educated daughter is surely to make their family proud. Investing in the education of a young girl will contribute significantly towards eradication evil practices like child marriage, premature pregnancy, child abuse etc. which, in turn, creates the vision of a healthier nation.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
- Prithviraj Chauhan
Philosophy of Everyday Life
Why is education so important for girls?
, Life is the best teacher
Education is one of the fundamental rights of every citizen.Women’ dream of becoming independent depends largely on education.Educated women are intellectually more prolific.Women through employment can contribute towards the growth of the nation.
It is not mandatory that women get higher degrees but they should get at least the minimum qualification(if getting higher education is not possible on their part) to get a decent job or to get themselves self-employment.
Imagine a situation when all adults in a family are capable of earning and can meet their own financial needs all by themselves. As a result, that family grows financially.There will be some sort of peace in the family due to this financial security.If this thing happens in many families then it can lead to the development of a village,and finally it can lead to the development of the nation.
In a country like India where death,abuse and harrasment of newly married girl is a common thing on demand of dowry,education can play a pivotal role for those women to raise voice against such brutalities.Women have the equal right to get educated because they too are citizens of the nation.
Girls are outperforming boys in many important examination.If they are given adequate opportunities,then they can show the world what they are capable of doing. Indira Nooyi,Kiran Vedi,Arundhati Bhattacharya, have proved that women can also lead from the front. They got the opportunity and made the made the most out of it which many men can not even think of it.
Women empowerment can only be possible if women get educated.
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Girls Child Education in India
Madrasah , History of education , Human rightsPages: 11 (3835 words)
Published: April 5, 2011
Girls education in India
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From the advent of the human species, with or without schools, one keeps on taking education in some or the other way. It is one the basic necessities to be educated for human, as world out there is full of competition, where one needs certain amount of skills to survive and be a threat to others. Education gives an insight to the person to differentiate between good and bad. Webster defines education as the process of educating or teaching (now that’s really useful, isn’t it?) Educate is further defined as “to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of…” Thus, from these definitions, we might assume that the purpose of education is to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of students. Unfortunately, this definition offers little unless we further define words such as develop, knowledge, and character.
Education may be seen as a means of empowerment; control over one’s life in more than just in economic sense. Education is not merely a means for better income and employment, opportunities for individuals or for higher economic growth potential for their nations. The social benefits of education spread in many directions. Education leads to better health care, smaller family norms, greater community and political participation, less economic inequality and a greater reduction of absolute poverty-social benefits that a narrow economic approach to education fails to capture.
Education leads to many social benefits – improvement in standards of hygiene, reduction in infant and child mortality rates, decline in population growth rates, increase in labor production, greater political empowerment and democratization, and an improved sense of national unity and integrity. It has been accepted that the rate of return on education, primarily primary education, even more on the girl child, is very high. Still India has been struggling to universalize elementary education over half a century and yet has not been able to declare it as a fundamental right or make it compulsory.
Thus, the word education is not restricted to school education only, though in this essay I will discuss mainly about the school education and position of women in that. To start with, it’s a fact that men and women are equal. When God invented them, he didn’t differentiate or put any line of demarcation between them. Apart from some physical difference between them, both are equal. Every child or a human being that way important and specially girl child because they keep the human cycle going on. The hallmark of culture and advancement of civilization consists in the fulfillment of our obligation to young generation by opening up all opportunities for every child, without any type of deprivement or discretion to enfold his or her personality and rise to his or her fall stature, physically, morally, mentally and spiritually.
But the society has always been unjust and unfair with women. It has been a patriarchal world that always suppresses feminine emotions and let them set free. Survival and development of girl child for which educating her is essential is not only the question of her survival only, it is the question of survival of the entire human race and should be looked upon as such. Moreover, when girl child will be properly educated, her mental faculties adequately developed than only in her later life she will be able to realize her true self, contribute to the development of her children, family, society and nation simultaneously maintaining her dignity and true worth by standing up for and demanding her own human rights, their protection and promotion in all fields of activity.
Education enlightens and enlightened women only can stand up for protection of her human rights and for those…
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