Women Rights

I was reading a paper on female infanticide and female foeticide today, I came across a few points I would like to discuss with you all. 

All of them are as follows. 

‘Then quoting some incidents of female infanticides that are common enough in the country she jumps to the conclusion, “aborting pre-viable foetus is ethically preferable to killing full-term infants after births.” One can only lament on this logic. No wonders if by same logic one argues that rape of a stranger is ‘ethically more preferable’ to incest. The argument in itself is true indeed but what conclusion is sought from producing it?’

This one made me think about my personal opinion on abortions. I am pro-choice. If a woman wants to get an abortion, she should be able to (as long as it is medically safer). And, I also feel that the choice should be of the woman alone. She shouldn’t be forced into having an abortion or having the baby etc. BUT, I am against female feoticide, and this kinda contradicts by view of being pro-choice, right? Because if a woman doesn’t want the child, she doesn’t want it. However, from most of what I know about female featicide, it is NOT the woman’s choice, she is either forced into it by her husband or her husband’s family. And female foeticide is highly discriminative against girls, and so I am inclined to being against it.

Another point was:

‘She does not forget to mention that in absence of this ‘facility’ people would go to unauthorised and illegal doctors and will risk their health. She also discusses the consequences of missing women saying, “as women become scarcer, their value would increase.” This is reiteration of the same logic of ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ of a commodity. I have nothing to say on this logic as Macklin herself raises questions over it. She tends to do justice with the topic in the last part of her article which deals with negative consequences of the female foeticide. She acknowledges that such a scarcity of women may result in polyandry and prostitution and increase in crimes like rape, incest and kidnapping. Reproductive burden on the existing women would increase etc.’

I personally do not feel that the scarcer women get the more they will be appreciated. It has been drilled into the heads of many Indian men from generations ago that women are inferior. No matter what. And women being less in number is not going to change that one lesson they carry on learning. Additionally, lesser females will increase the levels of violence against women (as pointed above), and will also diminish the chances of equality. Because, women will be kept at home as prized possessions, they will be denied basic rights BECAUSE they are so few and they will have to be kept SAFELY and away from any potential access to the world outside. Hence worsening the situation for the female gender. So no, I do NOT agree with the point raised about scare women and their increased value.

And:

‘Please tell me – in a society based on Islamic injunctions where boys are not considered superior to girl child, where girls are not regarded as the source of penury, where dowry’s sword is not hanging on marriages, where women enjoy property rights and equal status with men as human being, where women has ‘heaven beneath her foot’ as mother and are means to attain Prophet’s company in hereafter as daughters and sisters, where the best person is one who is best for his wife and where despite all these if some shameless and insane will still thinks of killing them could be deterred by the harsh punishment for the crime – will there be a problem of female foeticide in that society??? No. No. Never. Let me claim that even evils of dowry deaths, prostitution, family break ups, domestic violence, rape, adultery and all other crimes against women will fade away. Then female sex would not be ‘triply burdened’ by childcare, domestic and wage labour (as they are according to J Nash and M Fernandez Kelly). Then women will not be, “first to suffer effects of resource depletion and environmental degradation” and there will be no, “feminisation of poverty” (as the phenomenon is today according to Jacqui True). Will feminists respond to this call which is panacea for all their real grievances?’

Over here I got a little bit confused, but from what I understood, the writer said that perhaps abiding by the perception of women laid down by Islam could potentially end the violence against women epidemic. Maybe I have misunderstood. But, it will not, I don’t want to be blasphemous and say that NO WAY, but if we were to follow rules laid down by Islam, wouldn’t the levels of violence deteriorated majorly? And okay, not everyone takes the path of Islam…but violence against women is also an issue in many Islamic countries. And so, I disagree with the religious solution. Personally, I feel any form of violence or injustice against any human has to be dealt with by the society taking enough initiative to do so. Because we can pray and we can preach, but it’s all down to society to actually make a difference.

So there you have it, yet another blog post on the mistreatment of females – and how I so despise it. But I will carry on reading and writing till my fellow women experience brighter days. 

Meera 

 

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