Sixty million girls missing because of selective abortions in India
Today is International Day of the Girl Child. Every month at least 50,000 girls are killed following prenatal sex determination tests. For activist, “Every child is precious. Both girls and boys have an equal right to life and liberty.”
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – At least 60 million girls have been lost in India in the last ten years due to the widespread practice of selective abortions, this according to data released by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International on the International Day of the Girl Child.
“In our country, 50,000 babies are aborted every month for one reason: they are girls instead of boys,” said Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India. “India’s skewed sex ratio shows that, as a nation, we have failed girls.”
The United Nations established International Day of the Girl Child to draw attention to the fate of millions of discriminated women and girls, marginalised by their families, exploited and abused for the sole reason of being female.
According to the 2018 Economic Survey, in India there are about 21 million "unwanted" girls whose parents would have preferred a boy.
In addition to awareness programmes, activists demand that the Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques Pre-Conception Act adopted in 1994 be properly enforced.
The law, which was approved to counter femicide, bans prenatal sex determination, such as tests on amniotic fluid or chorionic placental tissue samples.
Baby girls “are either aborted or, once born, subject to various forms of violence. It’s time to address this issue,” notes Tehmina Arora.
According to the activist, “Every child is precious. Both girls and boys have an equal right to life and liberty. Our nation cannot afford to lose its little girls to discrimination and neglect.”
“India’s future is interlinked with the lives of the girls and women of the country. Whoever believes that girls share the same rights as boys cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening in India today.”
In 2016 ADF India launched the #VanishingGirls campaign to support the right to life of girls and to eliminate the practice of selective abortions.
This year, it organised a nationwide photography competition with the theme #giveherLIFE to raise awareness around the girl child. LIFE stands for love, inheritance, freedom, and equality.
The best pictures can be seen on the campaign's Instagram profile. The top one shows two women– mother and daughter – sitting across from one another, laughing together. Neither was discarded.