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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 2, Issue 3, 2014

Kamalroop Singh
Pages 433-446
DOI: 10.5840/jrv20153315

Save Our Girls
The Prevention of Female Foeticide in the Asian Community

An Oxford University study by Dubuc has found that an increasing number of Indian women in the UK are aborting their female foetuses, in order to have more boys. Research has found that over 1500 girls have ‘gone missing’ from birth statistics in England and Wales since the 1990s. The research concluded that the proportion of boys over girls has increased abnormally over time. This abnormal growth has been described as a result of ‘Sex Selective Abortion.’ This is only preliminary research and health experts consider the problem to be much larger. The reasons for aborting female foetuses are varied, but generally some families still follow the dowry system while others favour males to carry on the family name, and others see women as inferior. A number of Health authorities in the UK refuse to tell the sex of an unborn child, so some British Indian women travel to India to abort female foetuses. There is a lack of awareness about this unethical practice in the UK, and this could also be a large contributing factor. My paper will explore what the Sikh tradition has said about this practice, in particular from Sikh scripture and the rahitnāme from around the eighteenth century.

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