SAVE OUR GIRLS
THE PREVENTION OF FEMALE FOETICIDE IN THE ASIAN COMMUNITY
"An Oxford University study has found that an increasing number of Indian women in the UK are aborting their female foetuses in order to have more boys.
Research has found that over 1500 girls have 'gone missing' from birth statistics in England and Wales since the 1990s. Dr. Sylvie Dubuc from Oxford University has found that the proportion of boys over girls has increased abnormally over time. This abnormal growth has been described as a result of 'Sex Selective Abortion'. This is only preliminary research and health experts consider the problem to be much larger.
The reasons for aborting female foetuses are varied. For example, some families still follow the dowry system, others favour males to carry on the family name, while others see women as inferior. My paper will explore what the Sikh tradition has said about this practice, in particular the rahitnāme from around the eighteenth century.
Health authorities in the UK refuse to tell the sex of an unborn child and also refuse to carry out such abortions, hence many British Indian women being forced to travel to India to get such procedures carried out. The lack of awareness that this is happening in the UK is a very large contributing factor.
In this paper I will also launch a film that I jointly produced for the Punjab Cultural Association on the subject of female foeticide. I would like my talk to be a platform where interested parties can brainstorm ideas about how to tackle this issue. I would also be most grateful if you could allow other speakers to talk on the subject."