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Word Count: 451
The bias against females in India is related to the fact that Sons are called upon to provide the income they are the ones who do most of the work in the fields In this way sons are looked to as a type of insurance With this perspective it becomes clearer that the high value given to males decreases the value given to females Marina Porras Female Infanticide and Foeticide The problem is also intimately tied to the institution of dowry in which the family of a prospective bride must pay enormous sums of money to the family in which the woman will live after marriage Though formally outlawed the institution is still pervasive The combination of dowry and wedding expenses usually add up to more than a million rupees US 35000 In India the average civil servant earns about 100000 rupees 3500 a year Given these figures combined with the low status of women it seems not so illogical that the poorer Indian families would want only male children Porras Female Infanticide and Foeticide Murders of women whose families are deemed to have paid insufficient dowry have become increasingly common in India India is also the heartland of sex-selective abortion Amniocentesis was introduced in 1974 to ascertain birth defects in a sample population but was quickly appropriated by medical entrepreneurs A spate of sex-selective abortions followed Karlekar The girl child in India Karlekar points out that those women who undergo sex determination tests and abort on knowing that the foetus is female are actively taking a decision against equality and the right to life for girls In many cases of course the women are not independent agents but merely victims of a dominant family ideology based on preference for male children Indian state governments have sometimes taken measures to diminish the slaughter of infant girls and abortions of female foetuses The leaders of Tamil Nadu are holding out a tempting carrot to couples in
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