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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 01/24/2012, 00.00


    ‘National Girl Child Day’ against selective abortions and female infanticide

    Nirmala Carvalho

    One girl in 13 does not reach the age of six. A member of the Pontifical Academy for Life says that “socio-cultural factors” are at the root of gender discrimination. The Catholic Church adopts strategies to “protect and promote girls.”
    Mumbai (AsiaNews) – India marks its third ‘National Girl Child Day’. “One in 13 girls does not survive beyond six years of age,” said Dr Pascoal Carvalho. “All forms of discrimination and violation of the rights of the girl child need to be eliminated, within and outside the family.” Speaking to AsiaNews, Dr Carvalho, who is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, noted that this day is a reminder of the urgency to protect girls from selective abortions and female infanticide.

    The current United Progressive Alliance government set aside this day in 2009. The chosen date corresponds to the day in 1966 when Indira Gandhi became India’s first woman prime minister. The Catholic Church celebrates the same event on 8 September, nativity of Mary.

    With the introduction of ultrasound and amniocentesis, tens of thousands of female foetuses were never born. The tests were “originally designed for detection of congenital abnormalities of the foetus,” said Dr Carvalho, who is also a member of the Human Life Committee of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Now, they “are being misused to know the sex of the foetus with the intention of aborting it if it happens to be that of a female.”

    In order to stop such abuses, the government passed the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technologies Act, which include penalties for anyone, doctor or parent, who carries out such tests for this purpose.

    Yet, “Even though the law is a powerful instrument of change, alone it cannot root out this social problem,” Dr Carvalho said. “Girls are devalued not only because of economic considerations but also because of socio-cultural factors,” like lineage, protection for parents in their old age and rituals like lighting the funeral pyre and other death related rites. “Culturally, girl children are not valued and, in many Indian communities, familial and social pressures often dictate who is born and who survives.”

    In some regions, sati is still practiced, whereby a widow joins her husband in the funeral pyre in order to fulfil her role as wife. However, it is a way to remove the economic "burden" of the woman.

    The Central Supervisory Board set up to monitor implementation of the Act has investigated the matter. So far, 94 doctors have been convicted under the Act, but licences of only 15 have been revoked by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

    Whilst the government does not oppose such technologies, they should be used for their original purpose. District authorities can monitor how they are used, said joint secretary in the health ministry Anuradha Gupta.

    Beside the government, the Catholic Church has also taken steps to counter gender discrimination and protect the rights and freedom of girls. In 2010, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India adopted in fact a gender policy with strategies to protect and promote girls.

    The police includes protecting girls from any form of discrimination and abuse, sexual or otherwise; projecting a positive female images among girls, boys, parents, teachers and society at large; avoiding all forms of stereotyping in Church-run inter- and extra-curricular activities; and promoting government programmes for girls in homilies, hospitals, dispensaries and catechism classes.
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    See also

    11/10/2016 12:56:00 INDIA
    Indian Salesian: A "Children's parliament" to avoid the phenomenon of child brides

    Today we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. According to UNICEF, 700 million girls are married in childhood. Another report said that every seven seconds a minor is forced to marry a much older man. "Betting on education. Forming children aware of their rights ".


    18/05/2010 INDIA
    Indian Church studies "anti-abuse code "
    The Bishops' Conference, together with Superiors of religious congregations in India, will meet to study the rules to be applicable to crimes of a sexual nature. The Bishop of Pune: "Zero tolerance for those who make mistakes. The Pope has shown the way, it is wrong to criticize him. "

    08/09/2011 INDIA
    Mary’s Nativity against selective female abortions
    For a spokesman of the Archdiocese of Bombay, celebrating the Day of the Girl Child on the day of the Virgin’s Nativity “reminds us that Mary was” a special and yet so ordinary. In India, selective abortions, female infanticide, child brides, child abuse and prostitution are still widespread.

    08/10/2013 INDIA
    Start from the family to change society and stop violence against women
    For the International Day of the Girl Child (11th October), the Archdiocese of Mumbai launched a petition asking for enhanced security and protection of Indian women. "Parents need to be the first instruments of change," the city's auxiliary archbishop said, for they can "teach their children the value of dignity and equality" and the latter "will in turn spread them to the community."

    14/05/2010 INDIA
    Gujarat: Court advises 13 year old girl who was raped to have an abortion
    Judges grant the mother’s request for termination of the pregnancy reversing ruling of a the local court. They consider the child's birth will endanger the girl’s mental health and creates a social and economic problem for the family. Bishop Agnelo Gracias, President of the Commission on Family and Life for the Indian Bishops' Conference: "Justice should punish the criminal and not the innocent."

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