Call for Government Action to Stop Female Genocide In India
- The government of India; the U.N. bodies; the G8; the EU
In 1986, the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Amartya Sen, had served India the first warning. He had calculated that 37 million women were “missing” from the country. Women who should have been part of the population but could not be accounted for.
The elimination however continued, even escalated. And now, 22 years later, it is estimated about 50 million women have been systematically purged from India’s population, targeted only because they were female. This is perhaps what makes it one of the worst genocides in human history. And it is silent. And ongoing.
Female infanticide has long, historical roots in India. It continues to be a rampant practice in many rural regions of India, largely because it is more affordable for the rural poor than the method more prevalent in towns and cities -- that is sex-selected abortions. A mid-wife is paid only about Rs 100/- (U.S. $2.50) to kill a newborn girl. Babies are strangled, buried alive, drowned in buckets of milk, or fed poison. In some parts of India that job is relegated to the father or paternal grandmother who does it for free.
Female feticide has now become an unbridled phenomenon in India. Even though it is illegal for doctors to reveal the gender of the fetus during an ultrasound, still about a million female fetuses are selectively aborted in India each year. This rate is expected to rise to an alarming 2-5 million/year over the new few years.
Also on the rise are the murders of young married women, whose in-laws’ demands for dowry money seem insatiable. Dubbed as ‘dowry deaths’ – these murders are generally gang-murders involving the husband, his parents, and sometimes his siblings. The victim is doused with kerosene and set ablaze in staged kitchen “accidents.” Or forced to consume sleeping pills, or hanged in staged “suicides.” It has been estimated that at least 25000 women are murdered this way, every year. The thousands who don’t die, live-on badly burnt and maimed, their lives destroyed.
The standpoint of this petition is to treat this as a situation of extensive and violent, lawlessness, perpetuated largely due to the apathy of the country’s system of law and order.
For more information or queries, please visit our campaign website www.50millionmissing.in
We the undersigned, strongly condemn the practices that have led to the elimination of millions of girls and women from India’s population, and hold the government of India accountable for failing to protect the lives of its female citizens.
We further contend, on grounds of human rights, that immediate and effective action be taken by the government, through the implementation of rapid action task forces, to halt this femicide. We also insist the government officially commit to a time-line within which the associated practices of female feticide, female infanticide and dowry murders will be effectively arrested through the rigorous enforcement of existing laws and a stringent accountability on the part of India’s hospitals, government offices, and law enforcement agencies.
We further urge international human rights bodies and other governments to join in this effort to persuade the government of India to acknowledge and honor the call of this petition.