Tuesday, 25 August 2015

International Day of the Girl Child

The official launching of #Fight4theFoetus Campaign to take placeon the 11th of October 2015, the International Day of the Girl Child

The official launching of the nationwide campaign ‘Fight4theFoetus’ against female foeticide is proposed to coincide with the International Day of the Girl Child, on the 11th of October, 2015.  This day was selected as the most appropriate day because it is on that day that the world celebrates the girl child and declares aloud that all types of gender injustice and gender inequality should end. 

Resolution No. 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 19, 2011, to recognize the rights of the girls and help them meet the unique challenges they face around the world.  This decision was in recognition of the fact that empowerment of and investment in girls is critical for the achievement of millennium development goals.

The observation of the International Day encourages more opportunities for girls and is intended to increase awareness of gender inequality faced by girls.  Right to education and health, protection from discrimination and violence and legal rights are some of the focus points. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl Child.

The resolution states that the International Day of the  Girl Child recognizes “the empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”      

Though the proposal for the observance of International Day of the Girl Child was formally made as a resolution sponsored by Ms. Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister for the Status of Women, in 2011, the basic groundwork goes back to the Fourth World Conference on Women in September, 1995, which had adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for action for better treatment of women and girls.  The 50th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations endorsed this declaration.  The declaration contained the following important clauses:

 “15. Equal rights, opportunities and access to resources, equal sharing of responsibilities for the family by men and women, and a harmonious partnership between them are critical to their well-being and that of their families as well as to the consolidation of democracy”

23. Ensure the full enjoyment by women and the girl child of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and take effective action against violations of these rights and freedoms;

24. Take all necessary measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and the girl child and remove all obstacles to gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women;”

29. Prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls;

31. Promote and protect all human rights of women and girls;”

Each year the International Day of the Girl Child has a theme.  The first theme, in 2012, was “ending child marriage", the second, in 2013, was "innovating for girl's education", and the third, in 2014, was "Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence."

NGOs and official and non-official welfare agencies around the world celebrate the day with innovative programmes for the betterment of the weaker sex.   It is on that day that the issues connected with gender discrimination are highlighted and solutions discussed.  That is why, this day, October 11, was chosen to be day on which Fight4theFoetus Campaign is officially launched. 

All types of discrimination against the girl child, including the prenatal slaughter through foeticide and post-natal infanticide, the denial of education to the young girls, the premature and forced marriage, the exclusion from share in family property, the barring from religious rites, the discouragement of remarriage after the death of her husband and all such forms of gender injustice must end.

Let us all join the fight for the rights of the girl child and the rights of the unborn foetus.

++++ Join Us on

FaceBook : https://www.facebook.com/fight4foetusTwitter: https://twitter.com/fight4thefoetusGoogle Plus:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/105760359364894618329/postsYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtOawtBgxuhFKCpOayHkxwBlog: http://fight4thefoetus.blogspot.in/Website: http://fight4thefoetus.org/

Saturday, 8 August 2015



A nation-wide stormy campaign, named #Fight4theFoetus, to stop female foeticide, the selective killing of the girl child in the womb, is to be launched on the 15th of August, the day of India’s independence. The continuing and unprecedented decrease in the number of female children, as clearly shown by the falling Child Sex Ratio figures for children below 6 years, in the Census records of the last few decades,  are making all right-thinking citizens of India concerned about the possible and imminent socio-economic consequences of this decrease. Already, the official records of crime are showing a horrifying upward surge in cases of sexual violence against women and children. 

Killing a baby girl as soon as it is born, or female infanticide, was not uncommon in almost all parts of the world, especially in stressful situations like continuous failure of crops and resultant famine-like situations.  The medical journal ‘Lancet’ had to write an editorial against the practice in England, just a century ago.  The practice was widespread in the very backward areas of India due to economic constraints and instability.  But now, the advances in technology and medical science are facilitating the pre-determination of sex of the foetus through ultrasound scan, amniocentesis and such other advanced methods and helping people to kill the female foetus. 

What is quite appalling is that it is not the poor people, in the rural areas of backward regions, who engage in this horrifying crime now.  The practice is more widespread in regions that are socially and economically better off and among people who are more educated.   It is not just the traditional preference for the male child, the unbearable burden of dowry or the fact that no income can be expected from the girl child that makes people resort to this crime, though these are, indeed, deciding factors for many.  The malady has deeper roots of more complex nature which have to be studied by social scientists.  The stark reality is that India is on the verge of a socio-economic catastrophe.

Just look at the Census figures of 2011.  While there was, in the ten years preceding, an increase of 181 million in the total population, there was a decrease of 5.05 million in the number of children aged between 0 and 6 years.  What is more surprising is that the reduction in the number of male children was just over two million (2.06 to be exact) while the reduction in female children was almost three million (2.99).  The crux of the problem is that Child Sex Ratio, the number of girls for every 1000 boys, aged below 6 years, which stood at 976 in 1961 fell to 945 in 1991, 927 in 2001 and 914 in 2011.

It was the Census of 1991 that first sounded the alarm showing that several states in India, especially in the North-West region, were dangerously close to a social disaster.  Punjab with 875 girl children for every 1000 boy children in the age group of 0 to 6, Haryana with 879, Chandigarh with 899, Delhi with 915, Uttar Pradesh with 927, Gujarat with 928, Uttarakhand with 949 and Himachal Pradesh with 951 were the States at the bottom of the scale in child sex ratio.  Then, the figures for Census of 2001 came to light.  Punjab which had 875 girls for every 1000 boys, just a decade ago, had only 798 in 2001.  Haryana had lost 60 and stood at 819.  Figures for Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh were also below 900, having 845,868, 883 and 896 respectively.  This Census also shocked social observers by exposing that the child sex ratio in 122,517 villages was less than 800 and that in 690 cities it stood at less than 850.

As has been stated above, rural India was out of bounds for the money-making hospital-lab combination that thrived on this business. But the figures for Census 2011 revealed that, as many field workers and researchers had reported, the scanning centres were reaching into villages with their mobile units and with collaborating doctors to ‘expand their business’.  This explains the fact that the drop in Child Sex Ratio in the rural areas, during the ten years preceding the Census, is three times the drop in urban areas.  That is why, the figure for rural Child Sex Ratio at 919, though it is 17 above the urban ratio, does not give any comfort to demographic observers and social workers.  This is also evident in the number of rural districts in which Child Sex Ratio is going dangerously down.  The number of districts with a ratio less than 900, made a quantum jump from 61 of 2001 Census to 188 of 2011 Census. The number of districts with a ratio less than 850 increased from 54 to 74.

The suppressed feelings of the unmarried middle-aged men make them mentally prone to perversions including abuse of children and violence against women.  This, in turn, results in a spurt in crimes, especially sexual crimes, making women and children afraid to go out of their homes and move about in the society.  According to official crime statistics, rape cases of children rose from 5368 in 2009 to 5484 in 2010 and kidnapping and abduction cases rose from 10670 in 2010 to 15284 in 2011.

There are other consequences of this decreasing trend in child and youth sex ratios.  Our traditional values of marriage, family life and morality are forsaken for the exigencies of life.  The social institution of marriage is no more a life-long relationship forged between two consenting individuals of matching social and family backgrounds. It has turned into a commercial activity of buying brides from economically backward communities.  The purchase of minor girls, classified as ‘Procuration of Minor Girls’ in crime statistics, is increasing by leaps and bounds as shown by crime statistics.  The cases registered in this category rose from 237 in 2009 to 679 in 2010 and 862 in 2011.

As the reduction in Child Sex Ratio continues and this ratio turns into Adult Sex Ratio, there will be complete socio-economic chaos within a decade.  Female foeticide, which has been termed rightly as demographic terrorism, leading to ‘bride drought’ will be the greatest hurdle in the path of progress for our nation.

  #Fight4theFoetus is a campaign to stop this downslide in our socio-economic life.  The campaign will make people deeply aware of the consequences of female foeticide through awareness programmes in print and electronic media, using all means of propagation including social sites, films, conventions and such other direct and indirect methods of spreading the message.  We have no time to lose.  The future of our nation is in peril.  No citizen of India can remain a bystander.