Female foeticide on the rise among Canadian Sikhs

True to the adage “old habits die hard” immigrants from Punjab and Haryana — states with India’s worst sex ratio – appear to be carrying the practice of female foeticide in Canada where the evil trend has started to raise its ugly head.

The heinous trend of female foeticide is showing up among the Sikh population in Canada, many of whom have migrated from Punjab and Haryana in the last two decades.

The menace was spotted largely among the immigrant Sikhs while the Christians and Muslims do not exhibit this trend.

However, some other South Asian ethnic groups were also found to commit female foeticide. The Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday flagged the issue urging the Canadian government to prohibit disclosure of the sex of a foetus until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to combat female foeticide, practised by a section of Indians.

“For Sikhs, there are more than 2 boys per girl for the third child if the two elder children were girls implying a sex ratio that is 100 per cent above the normal. By contrast Asian immigrants who are Christians or Muslims exhibit normal sex ratio, irrespective of parity and sex mix of previous children,” says a study carried out by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Massachusetts.

“Female foeticide happens in India and China by the millions. But it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male to female ratio in some ethnic groups.

Small numbers cannot be ignored when the issue is about discrimination against women in its most extreme form,” Rajendra Kale, editor-in-chief of the journal, said in his editorial.

According to the 2011 census, India’s child sex ratio dipped to an all time low of 914 and Punjab (846) and Haryana (830).

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