Is it a crime to be a girl?

Published: May 16, 2012
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Statistics show that roughly nine out of 10 newborns killed are female. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

It was an hour of joy and happiness for my mother when the doctor told her she would have me in her arms in nine months. But this happiness turned into despair for my father and grandmother as they came to know that a girl would be born to their family. They forced my mother to kill me before I was born.

Daddy, please don’t kill me. I won’t make you angry. I’ll be a good daughter; I won’t ask you for expensive clothes and toys. Please don’t kill me.

But I was killed after just 30 days in my mom’s uterus.

This is what an unborn female fetus may feel when it is brutally murdered by her own family. Aamir Khan’s production, “Satyamev Jayate”, that aired on May 6, inspired me by its very first episode, showing the darker side of society.

This opened my eyes to a problem which is both common and heart-rending. Although I realise that I live in a society where women are often criticised and used as objects to please everyone they are related to, it was still difficult for me to digest the fact that the majority of people in certain societies feel no regret when killing the unborn female fetus.

They do it just for the sake of having a baby boy who would carry their family’s name forward.The research on the show displayed a highly dismal picture regarding the survival rate of females compared with males.

After watching this show, I wondered if this was only happening in India. Is Pakistan free from this practice?

To answer my questions and satisfy my conscience, I did a bit of research and found a report by CNN called “Killing of infants on the rise in Pakistan“, published in 2011, which stated that over 1,200 newborns were killed and dumped in Pakistan in that year, which was an increase of about 200 from the previous year. Statistics show that roughly nine out of 10 newborns killed are female.

I was completely shocked by the statistics presented in the report.

Man has no right to decide whether a baby should live or die. We must learn to respect this wonderful gift of God, be it a boy or a girl.

cheryl.javed

Cheryl Javed

The author works as a Programming Coordinator at Express News.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.