ASIA/INDIA - The phenomenon of "missing girls" continues to increase

Dehradun (Agenzia Fides) - India is the fourth country in the world most at risk for the female gender, after Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan, and the widespread practice of selective abortion of female fetuses makes the situation even more difficult. Since the last provisional census carried out in 2011, in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, where the ratio between males and females between 0 and 6 years has fallen to 886 girls per 1,000 boys, a very active civil society movement is taking action against what is defined as "female feticide". The figures recorded in Uttarakhand are far worse than the national average which has dropped to 914 girls per 1000 boys, from 927 per 1000 in the 2001 census. That year, demographers said that there were six million 'missing girls' in India, now 7.1 million are missing, of a total population of 1.21 billion people. "This tragic phenomenon has worsened due to technology and literacy and the lack of ethical principles in the medical profession", this is what is read in Shri Bhuvaneshwari Mahila Ashram’s (SBMA) note, an NGO in Dehradun, who protects the rights of women. In particular, what is accused is the proliferation of prenatal tests and economic ultrasound instruments in the entire State in order to know the sex of the unborn child. Traditionally a family with more males is considered stronger. For three years, SBMA has launched an awareness campaign to people with a program called Kopal. Together with other NGOs, SBMA has focused on the physical and psychological effects on women who undergo abortion of female fetuses. Those considered "missing girls" are real victims of female homicide. Kopal involves the mobilization of youth groups to raise awareness among peers and adults about the vital role that women have in any balanced community. Among the activities promoted we have many forums, such as the 'Mountain Children's Forums', which offers boys and girls the opportunity to discuss and debate, or meetings in which the contribution of women in rural households is emphasized and is superior compared to that composed of males . (AP) (Agenzia Fides 23/09/2011)