Life is just the misery left between abortion and euthanasia […]”
― Sebastian Horsley,
This is a very interesting guest post on gender selective abortion by Ifejesu Salam. Read and Enjoy :). Feel free to leave a comment behind- 🙂
This very unusual question was asked in the 2012 comic movie “the dictator”. On the surface, it sounds absurd, funny or even meaningless. I am sure I must have laughed when I first heard it and waved it off as one of the very many jokes that was included in the scripts of this funny movie. A year, one semester of gender studies and countless stories and research articles after, I have discovered a whole lot of meaning and depth to this supposedly harmless question, “Are you having a boy or an abortion?”
Let me first ask, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear/read this question? Most people will hear it and immediately think/ say “these feminists have come again with all their wahala o”, others will give it a thought and shrug it off as a question that was most likely relevant in the olden days, some will laugh it off as a joke and others will find a hard time understanding the meaning of the words. That question carries with it a lot of depth and every time I think of it, pain, sadness and anger flood my emotions. Why will a female child be referred to as “an abortion”? Is that really a reality in today’s world where ladies are excelling in almost, if not all fields? Was it even a reality at any point in time? If so, then why? All these are questions I am still trying to find answers to but I will express my views with the few words I have.
Now hold on, before you skeptics start to ‘judge’ me, do you know that statistics have shown that in India, over 6 million female children have been aborted over the past decade. Yeah…you read right, 6 million girls! And that is just one of many countries. Now that I have gotten your attention, let us answer the ‘why’ question together, because I still haven’t wrapped my head around it.
Different reasons have been given for this despicable act, the most common ones being that male children are just considered more preferable economically, culturally and even religiously. Several cultures reinforce the fact that the male child is the heir to the family fortune and will be the one to carry on the family’s legacy and traditions. These same cultures portray the female child as a property or an asset that is transferred from her father to her husband once she is of marriageable age. In India, sex based abortion and its prevalence can also be linked to the culture of dowry paying, where the female child is expected to give several gifts to the male child’s family in exchange for marriage. When poor and illiterate families consider this, there is a high likelihood ton terminate the pregnancy once the gender is known.
If you think like me, then all these reasons must sound absurd to you. I mean that doesn’t sound to me like a good enough reason to deny 6 million girls with unimaginable potentials the opportunity to dazzle mankind with it. . An end has to come to this and I believe changing our minds and believes about the female child and her importance or value is the first and most important step in curbing this menace. A girl child is equally as important as a boy child and she deserves to be given the opportunity to prove this.
I am Ifejesu Salam and I say NO to gender selective abortion, do you?