Friday, March 31, 2006

Too Little, too Late to Save These Societies from Punishment for their Crimes against Women


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4855682.stm

India sex selection doctor jailed

A doctor in India and his assistant have been sentenced to two years in jail for revealing the sex of a female foetus and then agreeing to abort it.

This is the first time medical professionals have been jailed in such a case.

Under Indian laws, ultrasound tests on a pregnant woman to determine the gender of the foetus are illegal.

It has been estimated that 10m female foetuses may have been terminated in India in the past 20 years.

Dr Anil Sabhani and Kartar Singh were caught in a sting operation in the northern state of Haryana.

Government officials sent in three pregnant women as decoy patients to find out if the clinic would carry out abortions based on sex selection.

Audio and video evidence showed the doctor telling one woman that tests had revealed that she was carrying a "female foetus and it would be taken care of".

A cultural preference for sons over daughters has skewed India's sex ratio.

But convictions are rare due to lax and corrupt officials and the slow judicial system.

The government brought in laws 12 years ago to stop the practice of aborting female foetuses.

'Social evil'

The president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), a grouping of doctors, Dr Vinay Agarwal said the convictions were "historical".

"The medical profession is doing all it can though we have to address this as a social evil. People should be proud to have a girl child," he said.

The northern states of Punjab and Haryana have some of the worst gender ratios in India.

There are about 861 women for every 1,000 men in Haryana, according to the census. The national average is 927 women to 1,000 men.

The national average has gone down from 972 in 1901 to just 933 in 2001, according to reports.

Earlier this year researchers in India and Canada said in the Lancet journal that prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girl births a year.

If this is true, 10m female births may have been lost in India over the past two decades.

Indian doctors, however, disputed the report saying pre-birth gender checks had waned since a Supreme Court crackdown in 2001.

Tradition

Leading campaigners say many of India's fertility clinics continue to offer a seemingly legitimate facade for a multi-billion pound racket and that gender determination is still big business in India.

Experts in India say female foeticide is mostly linked to socio-economic factors.

It is an idea that many say carries over from the time India was a predominantly agrarian society where boys were considered an extra pair of hands on the farm.

The girl child has traditionally been considered inferior and a liability - a bride's dowry can cripple a poor family financially.

This is good of course, but far too little, far too late.

Yes doctors and other medical personnel involved should be arrested. But the technology must be removed as well. As quite frankly that region of the world has demonstrated by their behavior, that they are not fully mature enough as societies to have free access to all technology since they behaved irrresponsibly with sonograms machines. They used them for sex selection MILLIONS OF TIMES and thus, created an inbalance of millions of men in their societies.

Thus a refusal to sell them sonogram machines or parts to repair the ones they currrently have as they break must be instituted. This boycott should include other technology as well, including military as if they couldn’t handle a sonogram machine, they can’t handle any military technology either, especially nuclear.

That’s for sure.

The other issue is I wish they would stop pointing to the dowry as being implicated in this, as the dowry tradition has NOTHING to do with this.

Nothing.

It’s a complete red herring, strawman, whatever…

As we in the west have the same dowry tradition and have more women then men in our society. Actually the dowry tradition here has morphed into women, if they wish a big wedding, to pay for most of it themselves and with the cost of a wedding today, well basically you are spending your dowry on the wedding with flowers, dress, reception, honeymoon, etc., It has NOT turned into parents trying to murder girl babies in order not to help them pay for their wedding. The whole assertion is ridiculous and just another attempt by men (in Asia this time, although our men do the same at every opportunity) to shift the blame from something they did themselves and try to put it on historical forces, over which they supposedly have no control.

Total and complete baloney.

Additionally China, which has NO dowry tradition (they have a bride price to be paid when they get married) is in the exact same situation as India. Actually I just had a dicussion a while back with a good friend of mine from China. She’s been here about ten years and was very excited, as she has a son and just found out that here the bride’s family pays for the wedding.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her with so many women marrying so late, that most of the women I know (myself included) pay for the wedding themselves AND frequently ask for some rather LARGE contribution from the groom and/or his family.

Oh well.

Anyway, both countries India and China (with two totally different traditions) have condemned themselves to years of social chaos by messing around with mother nature and causing an inbalance of men in their society. It’s not any tradition of either place that has done this, but the selfishness of modern-day men.

Well, what else is new.

Just reading “Bare Branches” by Valerie Hudson demonstrates how most of Asia shot themselves in the proverbial foot and now will be facing decades of civil unrest, high crime rates, wars, etc., Actually it’s no coincidence that many recruits for terrorism come from societies that have also done the same thing as India and China, places such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Perverting all of the technology western civilization sold them to monitor the health of mothers and using it to abort girl babies. Now the resulting overflow of young men with no wives around to divert them into family life are fertile ground to be recruited into every quirky movement from Al Queda to Prestor John’s ultra-religious revival.

God only knows where it will end.

Anyway, these regions are going to be living with their decisions now for the next couple of decades, maybe centuries. I just know one thing, they better not be trying to export the problems they have created to the west either…


3 comments:

silverside said...

I was reading Maternal Instincts by Sarah Hrdy recently, and I discovered that this favortism for males is nothing new. In fact, the British when they were in India found that there were provinces where males outnumbered females 4 to 1. However, this "balance" was not achieved through abortion, but through infanticide. Just like now, the male favortism was worse among the wealthy, elite, and "educated," not among the poor. In fact, the poor often favored daughters, interestingly enough. And because the wealthy families often had no marriagiable females, they were forced to marry poor girls and bring them into their social/economic class, where they could apparently, at least in some cases, divert resources back to their own families of origin.

Great book by the way. Highly recommended.

NYMOM said...

Yes I know historically they just abandoned babies if they were not the right sex but I think after 9 months of carrying a child then labor and delivery, many families just decided to go ahead and keep the child anyway...

Just like in the US historically I'm sure many babies were abandoned, but allowing abortions probably upped those numbers since I'm sure we didn't abandon a half a million babies a year, whereas we do at least that many abortions today.

So technology has increased the numbers tremendously. This sonogram technology has led to an inbalance in China and India ALONE, not counting the other smaller countries in Asia, to almost 58 million missing women.

Valerie Hudson has written a very good book about it, "Bare Branches", which I highly recommend as well to get an understanding of just how much potential damage they have done...

NYMOM said...

Actually the British were nobody to talk, btw, about favoring males. I don't know if they practiced infanticide but their laws governing lines eligible for inheriting royal titles (even today) discriminate against women. As the male of the line is the assumed heir (versus presumptive) for the titles up to second cousin I think...whereas the female line is dropped off sooner.

For instance Prince Andrew's children are titled Princess and if something should happen to Charles's children, they would be in line for the title...

Whereas his sister Princess Anne, her children have no title (I think the Queen might have given them a courteous "Lady" title like Lady Jane Grey (niece to King Henry VIII through his sister) and Princess Anne's children are not in line for the throne either.

Obviously it's not a big deal as far as most of the British are concerned BUT it's just an interesting example that still exists today of how the British feel about sons versus daughters since why in the heck didn't they change that so Anne's children didn't feel left out of this whole title business????

Again, I don't care...it's just that historically this is even the reason Great Britian winded up with so many different 'lines' vying for the throne, as the male lines kept dying out and they didn't want to allow a female line to inherit...

Although eventually they were forced to accept the inevitable...

Which to me made more sense anyway. Especially with what we know today about paternity fraud. Probably at least a third of the royal line (and God only know how many others of the lesser nobility) are not even really related to the originator of the line...

So you're better off with the line inheriting through the mother as she is a genetic certainity whereas a father never is...Even today with brothers or first cousins, sometimes you can't differentiate the DNA one from another...

So it's really a deep-seated historical and psychological issue this preference for sons...nothing normative or making any sense about it...

Probably why it wil be nearly impossible to dislodge...as even western civilization, like all the other civilizations is not immune to it...we just have it hidden better...