We talk about culling female infanticide. We talk about educating people about it. We talk about giving the girl child more opportunities. But what we dont talk about is what is actually plaguing our society today. This could pertain to India, probably other nations too, I wouldnt know. But this happens in India for sure.
It is most important to do away with the retrograde thoughts & impressions of the society. There is so much of talk about the abuse of the girl child (before or after birth) among the illiterate, but sadly, nothing could be farther from the truth. It has almost nothing to do with the level of education, because commoditisation of women, dowry etc exists from the lowest ebb to the highest level. It is part of the thought & tradition ingrained in this country. That is why female infanticide is so rampant here. Though dowry is supposedly eliminated in India, its an open secret that it takes place all the time. At times, the dowry can go into lakhs/crores of rupees, plus jewellery plus vehicle plus wedding costs. No wonder then that many families curse the day when the girl child is born, because from the day she is born to the day she gets married, they cannot sleep in peace. It is THIS thought that needs to be changed. The bride is the biggest dowry in herself. She brings a lot into the house which cannot be measured in material terms.
We need to relook & refresh our take on this matter. This primarily would be achieved by changing the mindset of the public, and also doing away with ancient thoughts that belittle women. Today, a woman is capable or more than capable than man in any field. So it does come as a surprise doesnt it, that these things are still so common? Even the ancient texts put women down. The Ramayan has shown how just because a dhobi was heard complaining about Sita (who had just been rescued from Lanka where she was held captive by a man other than her husband), Ram sent her into vanvas coz he didnt want his subjects to think badly of him. The Mahabharata shows how Draupadi was used as a pawn in the most shameful way n the game of shatranj. And later she was shared by all the Pandava brothers. The Bible too, is not far behind, coz as some chapters depict, it puts women at the feet of their husbands, and forbids them from doing anything contrary to the wishes of their hubbies. They are restricted from many activities reserved exclusively for men. Maybe the other texts also show such insults, but this is all I know of.
One of my friends is worried about her marriage, bcoz her parents in law have been living in the stone age, where in their community, it is expected that the girl will bear expenses of the wedding and also bring lot of cash & jewellery. Now they are not expecting it anymore, but they have never saved up for the marriage bcoz of this false belief. So at the end of the day, it ends up being a thinly veiled but evident..., dowry. Another one of my Andhraiite pal did his dental degree only bcoz he knows that it 'l increase his value in the marriage market, upto many many millions/billions.
This needs to change. The politics & marketeering in marriage needs to change. Marriage should be a time of happiness, not added headaches better avoided...