Indian PM dubs female foeticide a ‘national shame’

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India’s prime minister on Thursday labelled the practice of aborting female foetuses a “national shame” and ordered policy planners to increase efforts to stamp it out.
Manmohan Singh spoke out after draft census figures reported last month that the child sex ratio in India declined to 914 females to 1,000 males, the lowest figures since 1947. Married women in India face huge pressure to produce male heirs, who are seen as breadwinners while girls are often viewed as a burden to the family as they require hefty dowries to be married off.
“The falling child sex ratio is an indictment of our social values,” Singh told civil servants in New Delhi, citing examples of Indian women who have excelled.
“They have broken existing barriers to prove their worth in almost every sphere (and) it is a national shame for us that despite this, female foeticide and infanticide continue in many parts of our country,” he said. India’s skewed gender imbalance is due mainly to illegal sex-selective abortions. The global child sex ratio average is 1,050 girls for every 1,000 boys.