Sunday, October 23, 2011

285 Indian girls shed ‘unwanted’ names

More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi have been given a fresh start at a mass renaming ceremony in Maharashtra state. They had been called Nakusha by parents who would have preferred sons.

Hundreds of people committed to fighting gender discrimination attended the ceremony in rural Satara district. Statistics show a continuing preference for boys in India. The gender imbalance has widened every decade since independence in 1947.

According to the 2011 census, there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of six, compared with 927 for every 1,000 boys in the 2001 census. Female foeticide remains common in India, although sex-selective abortion based on ultrasound scans is illegal. Sons are still seen by many as wage-earners for the future.

Satara, where the ceremony took place, has one of the country's lowest female populations, with 880 females to every 1,000 males. The local government said it wanted to combat negative attitudes towards girls, who are often seen as a burden by their families because of the dowry that has to be paid when they marry. The 285 girls at the ceremony ranged in age from one to 20.

1 comment:

Insolitus said...

Oh, please. The ones who actually are disgusting in this case are the parents who name their daughters "Unwanted", because it apparently isn't enough for them to be unwanted, they and everyone else also have to know it and always be reminded of it. Sadistic, I'd say. It has nothing to do with "race" and everything to do with culture and education.