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Female foeticide: awareness and perceptions of married women in the reproductive age group in Jamnagar District

Kajal B Davara, Jitesh Mehta, Dipesh Parmar.

Abstract
Background: Female foeticide is a practice that involves the detection of the sex of the unborn baby in the womb of the mother and the decision to abort it if the sex of the child is detected as a girl. Such foetus is considered to be “suffering from the very disease of being a female foetus”. If the female foetus is lucky enough to survive till her birth, then she faced the peril of elimination in infancy by female infanticide. This could be done at the behest of the mother, or father, or both are under family pressure.

Aims & Objective: This study aimed to assess awareness and to know about perceptions regarding female foeticide among married women in the reproductive age.

Materials and Methods: 500 married women of reproductive age group residing in urban and rural areas of Jamnagar district were interviewed with their informed consent using a predesigned questionnaire to elicit information about their knowledge and perceptions regarding female foeticide.

Results: Out of 500 study participants, 32% responded that they have heard of female foeticide from their friends. 71.2% women who had given their view that female foeticide is considered as a crime, but only 229 (45.8%) women had knowledge about legal punishment / penalties for female foeticide. The majority of women (96.8%) had given their view regarding female foeticide that it should be stopped.

Conclusion: The effort towards the awareness and sensitization campaigns for the girl child, as is being carried out by the central and state governments should be stepped up and extended.

Key words: Female Foeticide; Sex Determination; Sex Ratio; Awareness; Perceptions; Married Women; Reproductive Age



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