Opinion: Male child preference and the evil of gender-selective abortions

by Nimi Princewill

Top of the wish list of most ‘expecting’ first-time mums, as required or demanded by their husbands, extended family or society (whether verbally requested or emotionally concealed), is primarily centred on the divine prospects of birthing a male child.

However, the eventual arrival of a female child, in some cases, don’t turn out as glorifying as it would if it were on the reverse. This situation (depending on the environment/culture), could be anything but pleasant for women who’ve accumulated more female children for themselves, in their series of consistent attempts for a male.

Enlightening people around the world (including those of advanced civilisation) against the awkward discriminatory preference of the male child over the female, could supposedly seem a lot like ‘preaching to the choir,’ as they logically shouldn’t be the target audience.

Well, on the contrary, (before we unfairly slay what’s insufficiently left of Africa’s reputation, and likewise the rest of the Third World), I realised quite amazingly, that male child preference isn’t entirely a Third World practice. Our neighbours of ‘higher’ civilisation, carry out similar practice as well!

The generous assistance provided by ultrasound in predicting sexes have paved the way for gender-selective abortions, which is gradually evolving into a widely acceptable trend, as witnessed in some countries in Eastern Europe and India. ‘Word on the street’ has it that gender-selective abortions, also flourish in the United States, although not fully ascertained.

That is a foot away from the neglect, abandonment and sometimes, killing of female children shortly after birth, in some astonishingly popular Asian countries. Currently in Africa (Nigeria and a couple others), a woman with too many female children or perhaps unable to birth a male child could possibly lose her husband to another woman, who’s competent in the ‘art’ of providing one.

I’ll absolutely not dignify this segregative practice, by dabbling into the politics of why a boy child is preferred to a female. I believe every child deserves a fair chance at life and can be useful and successful, regardless of his or her gender.

It is irresponsible to deprive the girl child of her entitlement to life, or make some irrational marital/family decisions, in protest of nature’s inadequacy of providing you a male child! #LetTheGirlChildBreathe!

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Twitter: @princewill_nimi
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

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