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East Meets West: Gendercide is Not Only an Eastern Culture Problem

By Darlene Oakley HERWriter
gendercide not just eastern-problem as east meets west PhotoSpin

What is Female Feticide or Gendercide?

Gendercide (also known as female feticide or son-biased sex selection) is the elimination of girl babies through abortion, sex-selection before implantation, neglect or murder.

It is commonly practiced in countries like China, India, and Korea based on a long-held belief in the value of a son versus the burden girls place on their families.

In China, the practice is blamed on the 1979 law that prohibits families from having more than one child.

In India, even though it is illegal, the practice of dowries makes girl babies a burden to their families. Dowries are paid (land and/or money) by the bride’s parents to the groom’s parents. Traditionally, a family with a good dowry for their daughter would fetch a better husband.

Ultrasound is being used to determine the sex of the baby before birth and women either deciding on their own or at the behest of their families and husbands to abort girl babies.

“According to the United Nations, as many as 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month in India, and untold numbers of baby girls are abandoned or killed.” (2)

Watch this several-segmented story of an Indian pediatrician who was pregnant with girl twins here.

And you can read about China’s situation, here.

East Meets West

So this is something that only happens “over there”, right? Wrong.

Families who immigrate to North America and Europe often bring these cultural practices with them, and may continue to practice them here.

Interim Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Rajendra Kale, in his editorial published January 16, 2012, cited a small qualitative U.S. study that involved 65 immigrant Indian women.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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