Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Kashmiris have to tread into unknown territories to get Brides in Future

If the trend of female infanticide stays like as is indicated in 2011 census, then Kashmiris have to tread into unknown territories to get their female counter parts

NEW DELHI: “Female infanticide is the intentional killing of baby girls due to the preference for male babies and from the low value associated with the birth of females”, quoted Marina Porras in her book Female Infanticide and Foeticide. The trend of female infantic ide is being practiced in Kashmir since a wave of armed struggle erupted during early nineties. On 11 June 2011, police claimed to have busted a fake ‘abortion racket’ running in the heart of Srinagar for the past 15 years.

Female infanticide has accounted for millions of gender selective deaths throughout history. The trend is as old as culture itself and is rampant in “Third World” countries, especially India and China. The practice of female infanticide in India is at its peak even when the efforts are going on assiduously towards women’s emancipation. Even at the threshold of so called modernization, we in India practice female infanticide freely, without an iota of fear either from society or from the government side. It is unquestionably one of the most brutal manifestations of anti-female bias in a patriarchal society like ours.

Why we go for selective sex choice? Why we abort a girl child? Why we target female foetuses? Why as a woman we give consent to such a horrendous crime? We literally have no answer to this question or to a string of queries related to female infanticide. We, in Kashmir have in the past witnessed a massive uprising, an urge to stand up and ask people in and around the world to free us from the shackles of slavery. We voiced ‘we want freedom’, but freedom from what? Who are our masters? The U.S., India, Zionists, we ourselves or our age old customs and rituals, which still determine course of actions. We are our own slaves and since the dawn of civilization we have been practicing uncivilized rituals unabated.

Cops back in Srinagar claim that the abortion racket has been running its valued businesses of female foeticide since past 15 years. That means during the same period we raised our voice for freedom. Since then we have been killing little innocent voices before they could even see a new dawn. We have been committing cruelty against humanity. We have been violating basic human rights. We have been going against women rights, which are actual human rights. We shed tears after discovering mass graves in and around Srinagar. Our hearts ache after listening about the ruthless stories of despotism carried out by men in power, but we are at ease when we ourselves have been slaughtering innocent voice in wombs? Have any of our freedom fighters, our ayatollahs ever thought of this moral morass in which we presently are? I pose my question to all of my Kashmiri brethren, we need Aazadi from what? From girls, females, who some of my esteemed leaders blame to be the cause of chaos in Kashmir. If we fail to protect women rights, then what right we have to talk and speak up for human rights.

In my land, killing a boy is disaster while as that of a girl is an event. A girl child is always a liability and the bias against females in India particularly in Kashmir is related to the fact that a boy child is a breadwinner, a type of insurance policy for greater returns at the time of maturity. The other aspect of the phenomenon of female infanticide is of course the institution of dowry. The dowry system has taken a toll on women. The raison d'etre for women to go for female infanticide is in the fact that she has to earn throughout her life and save every penny for her daughter’s marriage. To raise a son is blank cheque to be cashed in any currency, at any time and anywhere.

The trend is not only prevalent in India but is dramatically evident in rural China. According to Gendercide watch, there are no exact statistics available which justify the number of the girls who die annually from infanticide. They believe that the numbers are further clouded by the unreliability and ambiguity of much of the data and also place the casualties in the hundreds of thousands especially in the two most populous countries – India and China.

Female infanticide is a crime tremendously committed by women in the Third and the First World countries as well. In India, many births take place in isolated villages in presence of midwives, so female infanticide is easy to be carried out effortlessly. This is the reason why a greater number foeticide goes unnoticed in India. Whereas in the U.S., the story is quite different, every year hundreds of women commit neonaticide (the killing of newborns) because of diverse reasons, known or unknown. And, as maintained by the report published in the New York Times, 2 November 1997, prosecutors rarely convict those found guilty or the people responsible for such a heinous crime never go to jail for a ghastly crime in the first world countries.

Back to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, provisional census of 2011 uncover the staggering figures which if believed are shocking. The figures bring to light the largest decline in sex ratio for past one decade; we have 883 females per 1000 males. These figures indicate a fall of nine points compared to 2001 census. What is stunning in these figures is a radical fall in the female child sex ratio. This interim data illustrates that the child sex ratio has fallen from 941 in 2001 to 859 in 2011. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has reached to cloud nine in terms of corruption and has scored high in performing female infanticide. Surely no other state can match us in so many aspects and female infanticide is one of the areas where we have recently excelled. We are so fast in many things that that we left Punjab and Haryana far behind in committing monstrous crime against humanity.

What if we supersede in manufacturing a boy child in our own laboratories? Does it have any disastrous fall out? Yes, it does have a huge impact on our society in coming days. Firstly, the census conducted discloses that the sex ratio in various regions and areas within them has fluctuated which could lead us into colossal chaos in future. Upcoming days will be catastrophic for our Gen X. They will have to travel to unknown lands to find a match. This status will then metamorphose Kashmir into a true cosmopolitan state or race.

What prompted people of the valley to perform female infanticide? It is because people prefer to have a male baby instead of girl child. The reasons are myriad and one obvious cause is moral degradation of the society and the practice of dowry which is making our cultural as well as religious values rancid. The long standing conflict and its routine consequences have had its toll on the lives of people in Kashmir. Even though, every year we go for intifada for a short span, just to show we have been enlightened by the very thought of Islamic renaissance, but the fact remains that we haven’t been able to release ourselves from the age old customs which are responsible for our misfortunes. We are the slaves of our own conventions, then why we demand restoration of basic human rights. The menace of dowry and an urge to have all riches in our possession have turned us all into mass murderers.

Looking at a broader perspective, 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age group of seven. Many social activists hold the view that some eight million female foetuses may have been aborted between 2001 and 2011. The reasons, they quote can be diverse depending upon socio-economic and socio-cultural values.

However, social scientists and activists fear that gender bias can have a gigantic impact on our society. It is estimated that by 2020, there could be more 35 million young males in China and 25 million males in India. These are some of the shocking indicators which our netas and policy makers should look at seriously. Similarly in Kashmir, the problem of declining child sex ration can’t be solved by tweeting in some air-conditioned rooms or on Facebook chat rooms but need is to formulate strict laws in order to tackle innovative business ventures by private health centres. Further to get rid of the nuisance of female infanticide, the state government need to put stringent curbs on medicos who go for quick bucks. Especially Health department should be taken to account for its negligence towards Sex Determination Centres running under its patronage across the valley. Their tall claims and hidden nexus with the mafia involved in female infanticide business should be unwrapped and whipped publicly.

In addition, our ayatollahs should also launch a mass awareness campaign against female infanticide a la they did in June 2010 against innocent killings by security personnel. If they succeed in making uproar against 111 innocent killings, can’t they unleash a massive crusade against the innocent killings of eve’s daughters? Will they stand up and do some real work? Will junior Abdullah wake up from his deep sleep now and ponder over the rot spreading in his state?


tigermarie's picture


I've heard these things and was sad but never thought to do anything about it because I'm a girl. A girl with a small voice afraid to be heard. Now I am a mother of a beautiful, smart, loving, old soul who teaches me more and more everyday. She truly is the light of my life. If I were forced to give her up just because she's a girl, I would die. She is only 4 and I still have much to teach her. She knows her own voice and she's not afraid to speak it. This is how all little girls should feel. We as women will rise and empower new blood that will change the world. We have made stepping stones for them to find there way. And I believe we will all benefit, including mother earth.

sumera Reshi's picture



Yea I agree with you, we all should stand up and fight back this menace. Imagine the world without us. We have to encourage our little girls, we have to protect them. Every small step leads to a big leap.

Kind regards,

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative