May 28, 2024


In India, the societal problems of female foeticide and female infanticide are strongly embedded and are an expression of patriarchal norms and pervasive gender biases that denigrate the lives of women and girls. These behaviors have serious social, economic, as well as demographic consequences in addition to constituting a violation of fundamental human rights.

female foeticide meaning

  • Female foeticide is the term for the abortion of a female foetus. Aborting a female foetus is known as female foeticide.
  • When a parent decides they don’t want a girl child, they can use ultrasound technology to find out the child’s sex while the foetus is still in the womb and then terminate the pregnancy before the baby is born.

female infanticide meaning

  • The deliberate death of infant girls because a woman prefers male children and because having a female child is seen as less valuable than having a female child is known as female infanticide.
  • Another term for it is “gendercide” or gender-selective killing.

causes of female foeticide & causes of female infanticide

  • Poverty and Backwardness: People who live in impoverished and backward conditions tend to believe that having female children will cause them to face difficulties, especially when it comes to paying for the things that are necessary for their proper development and growth.
  • Illiteracy and Lack of Awareness: It is widely acknowledged that education imparts knowledge and awakens people to the importance of instilling moral and ethical qualities in others, granting equal rights and opportunities to men and women, and refraining from discrimination against any group. Female infanticide and female foeticide are thought to have been encouraged in large part by ignorance and illiteracy.
  • Discrimination Towards Girl Children: In certain rural communities, there is discrimination against girls. Discrimination against female children makes it possible for people to favor male children over female children. One of the main factors enabling people to commit female infanticide and female foeticide is discrimination against girls.
  • Religious Beliefs: Numerous philosophies and conventional attitudes and perspectives are greatly influenced by religion. It is a common religious belief held by many families in predominantly rural and occasionally metropolitan areas that male offspring should be born into the family.
  • No Social Security Benefits by Girls: There is a widely held belief that girls are not likely to give their parents with social security benefits. Parents require help and support from their children for a variety of reasons when they get older.
  • Legal Reasons: The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994 was enacted eighteen years ago in response to the startling rise in the abortion of female fetuses using cutting-edge medical technology.
  • Improving Living Standards: The primary goal of the people and families who come from the underprivileged, marginalized, and economically disadvantaged segments of society is to raise their level of living.
  • Dowry Harassment: It is one of the most serious violent crimes that the family of the grooms commit when the families of the brides are unable to provide the requested dowry. Studies have shown that women are typically subjected to abuse as well as a variety of violent and illegal crimes. They perform female infanticide and female foeticide, so they will be unable to pay the demands for the dowry.
  • Cultural Belief of Family Name Carriage: People from different backgrounds and categories have the belief that male offspring will contribute to the family name’s continuation. Male children are greatly appreciated when they are born.

difference between female foeticide and female infanticide

female foeticide

  • The death of a foetus if it turns out to be a girl’s is known as female foeticide.
  • The killing of a female before she is born is known as female foeticide.

female infanticide

  • The act of killing a girl child shortly after her birth is known as female infanticide.
  • The killing of a girl child either just after birth or shortly after is known as female infanticide.

Law on Female Foeticide and Female Infanticide

  • Certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code stipulate that it is illegal to force an abortion, kill an unborn child, or purposefully prevent a child from being born alive.
  • In addition, utilizing prenatal diagnostic procedures for sex-selective abortion is considered a criminal offense under the Prenatal Diagnostic procedures (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act.


A paradigm change is needed, moving from the defense of female infants to the advancement of women in general. This is achieved through raising the girl child’s worth in addition to improving her image. A rights-based lifecycle approach that prioritizes equal rights in property rights, employment, income creation, health, nutrition, and education is urgently needed. Finally, implementing a comprehensive program of gender sensitization that focuses on education at the individual level, professional behavior campaigns at the societal level, and institutional level, both public and private, is the only way to prevent adding to the shameless inventory of “Missing Millions.”

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