Q: Men out-number women in China and India; 34 million in China and 37 million in India. The ratio of boys to girls is so lopsided that economists project there may be as many as 30 to 40 million more men than women of marriageable age in both countries by 2020. That means so many millions of people are not going to get a wife. Is that a serious problem? Is this the after-effect of biotechnology? Does the government conscientize people on this matter?
A:: There are two issues involved here: one is the cultural outlook that is prejudiced against women and the girl child. And in China they have the added problem of one child policy. We, Indians, have traditionally preferred sons because of their potential to financially support their parents and carry on the family name. The advent of abortion technology has largely replaced the practice of abandoning baby girls. There is no one child policy in India, but parents there apparently make similar decisions driven by cultural views of daughters as financial burdens, largely because of the dowry required for their marriage. Presently India has more women than men. It could be attributed chiefly to female foeticide. Many men don’t get woman to marry. This will lead to grave imbalance in society, because men and women need sexual relationship in marriage. Sociologically, in India women are underestimated. So people abuse biotechnology for female foeticide. In the course of time, gender biased problems can arise. Migration and trafficking can aggravate the problem. The issue for me ultimately is ethical. So what we need is efforts to make society ethically conscious. It is the responsibility of politicians and religious leaders to work towards that end. They must promote the ethical sense of respect for women. I think religion should not be confined within the boundaries of temples and churches. Religious leaders must go out to the people and create awareness of ethical values in their minds and hearts.
Bp Thomas Dabre