Women are God’s gift to mankind, irrespective of what many do or say. We are the tolerant ones. We are the ones who make peace. We are the ones who give birth and nurse our babies into childhood and nurture them into adulthood. We are the ones who sacrifice or shrink our social life for the happiness of our young but are we always treated with respect? Many a times, are we given the right to make our own decisions?
I’ve seen women being put down and supressed by many, regardless of the abundant love we provide. I could never understand why. Over the years, I assumed that there were way too many reasons for this, the most common of all being that we are physically and emotionally delicate; of course with exceptions. Despite men being the genetically fragile bunch, you will always come across a dominating husband who gets away with his behaviour only because the wife is too scared he may strike her. You would have also come across wife beaters or philanderers whose wives think of sacrificing her life, despite the mental and physical abuse, and living with the man because she knows her children will be devastated if she left.
Now, during my second pregnancy, there is another thing that I failed to comprehend. Women, in India, are not allowed to ask or be told the sex of their foetus failing which the doctor responsible would be held against the law. We have no clue whether we are going to be giving birth to a son or a daughter. This is only because of sex selective abortions in the past, most of which were female. Some husbands are heartless enough to force their wives to abort or get rid of their new born girl without thinking that their mothers (who gave those men birth) and wives (who are taking care of them right then) are females who were not aborted or rejected. Sometimes the Mother herself would be distressed with the pregnancy and decide to murder the child in her womb due to the ancestral pressure of requiring her to have a male child in order to take the paternal name forward.
Some of us like the surprise in the labour room, but many of us would love to paint rooms and shop for the right colours before our angel arrives. Few of us also need to prepare ourselves mentally, therefore, making the above law quite infuriating. Don’t we have enough anxiety during the nine months?
According to sources, this law was passed after a decision was taken to specifically avoid the increasing number of female foeticide in India. Basically, we cannot abort a foetus but does that give us the right to chuck the female new-born into a river or torture her all her life. Many a times, the child is dumped in trash cans or found near drains. A few of these reach adoption agencies that try and find suitable homes for the blessed ones.
While I’m proud to say that I have family and friends who have adopted and are giving their girls a memorable childhood, still, I wonder about those who have yet not found a foster home? What about those who are lying hungry out there waiting to be found? What about those who are suffering in their own houses for being born a girl? What about young girls who are being given to older men as wives or lent to men for money by their own parents? Is this legally ethical just to keep sex ratios proportionate? Does the law against disclosing the sex of the foetus make the girl child any safer?
Of course, unreasonable abortion is illegal and a sin and there are many celebrities whom we would never have around had their mothers not taken a brave step to change their minds about abortion but is concealing the gender a solution to protect the unwelcomed girls? Maybe, after the sex is revealed, other confidential options could be openly available to the women in case they still want to part with their new born after giving birth. Just like the future, of our children, is protected by stem cell agencies today, likewise, the future of the undesirable children could be protected by well-guarded adoption agencies. Perhaps then the sex selective abortions and girl child torture could be reduced? Perhaps women can then take a sensibly independent decision to protect the lives of their precious little girls? What do you think?