The strong proclivity of the male sex in India has its roots in the Vedic Civilization. In the Rig Vedic era, society was dominantly patriarchal in nature. The family property was passed on to the son. This primitive practice still persists in the modern Indian society, wherein a girl is still seen as a burden to her family, something they would have to pay money for to get rid of. As the economy of the country progressed, people started to grasp the significance of family planning, living economically.
Since the late 1970’s with the influx of modern technology and the advancement of science, people began learning about abortions and ultrasound in the 1990’s which provided them the opportunity to learn about the sex of the unborn baby. This coupled with their preference for a son, led to female foeticide, which essentially means aborting a female foetus. This decades long practice has led to a decline in the child sex ratio, both in rural and urban areas. In the eyes of an Indian parent, a son is seen as a blessing, while a daughter is seen as a liability. Still today, in most parts of the country, especially the rural areas, the son goes to school, completes his education while the daughter is made to do all the household chores.
Female foeticide can also be linked with violence being perpetrated on the mother of the unborn child, who is often always blamed for carrying a daughter, which is seen as a bane instead of carrying a male child, which is the boon of the family. This abhorrent custom of blaming the mother is a classic case of superstition and delusion that still surrounds ignorant Indians like a plague.
According to biology, the gender of a person is determined by the chromosome characteristics, and unlike the popular belief that a daughter being born is always exclusively the mother’s fault, it is the male sperm that determines whether a boy or a girl will be born. This strategic piece of information is often ignored by millions of illiterate people that often resort to physically or sexually attacking the mother thus putting both the unborn child and the mother in danger. Family pressure, societal pressure, or monetary problems in the family often lead to domestic violence or forceful abortion of the fetus. This leads to degradation in the status and condition of women in our society contrary to the policy of women and child development undertaken by the government.
As of 2016, due to the declining sex ratio as a result of female foeticide, there are only 900 females for every 1000 males. In India, men still hold considerable power over women, they are seen as the builders of a better tomorrow, the primary breadwinners of the family, while women are viewed as weak and submissive and are valued by standards of the dowry that they are worth or the finesse with which they can perform household chores. This gives rise to rampant abuse of women and constant degradation.
Swami Vivekananda once said,
” There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing”.
This holds greater significance now, more than a century later. A nation has no chance of real progress unless we recognize the strength and the ability of the women and start treating them as equals, and not something that should be discarded.
Lakshyam recognizes the need of the hour, which is to empower women and make them self-reliant, so they have power over their life and have the courage to take a stand against injustice. This includes helping them develop skills direct their efforts to develop and sell handmade products to earn money and self-esteem.