Gunga Horror: ‘Torture Of Women For Not Bearing Boys Common; Societal Mindset Unchanged’

Gunga Horror: ‘Torture Of Women For Not Bearing Boys Common; Societal Mindset Unchanged’

No record of suicides over harassment for giving birth to daughters: SCRB

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, March 29, 2024, 12:53 AM IST
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Gunga Horror: ‘Torture Of Women For Not Bearing Boys Common; Societal Mindset Unchanged’ | Representative pic

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The shocking incident of a 28-year-old woman committing suicide after hanging three of her daughters in a village under the Gunga Police Station in the city on March 26 has brought back focus on the torture married women are subjected to for not giving birth to a male child. Police officials, however, say that no official record of such cases is maintained.

ADG, State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), Chanchal Shekhar said that the police do not maintain any records of incidents of women being driven to suicide due to torture for not bearing a male child. “In our records, reasons for suicide are categorised as family disputes, disease, financial problems, marital disputes, depression and so on. Not bearing a male child is not among the categories,” he said.

In-charge of Mahila Police Thana, Bhopal, Shilpa Kaurav said they receive many complaints of married women being harassed and tortured for not giving birth to a boy. “FIRs have been registered in two such cases since my taking over as in-charge of the police station,” the officer said.

“Women come to the police station complaining that they are being tortured as they have failed to give birth to a male successor to the family,” she said, adding that such cases fall under the category of harassment. “How can a woman be blamed for something over which she doesn’t have any control,” Kaurav asked.

Counsellor Mekhla Shrivastava said that preference for a male child is widely prevalent. And it is not confined to any particular section or class. “Torture of women for not bearing boys common; societal mindset unchanged…From uneducated villagers to slum dwellers in cities to well-off educated families - everyone prefers boys,” she said. And this is true in both Hindus and the Muslim communities.

The counsellor said that when such cases come before them, she tries to explain to the husbands and the in-laws that there is no difference between a boy and a girl and that if there were no girls, there would be no boys, too. “Your mother was once a girl and but for her, you would not have been in this world, I tell the husbands,” Shrivastava said, adding that “I am telling you that even those who give lectures on gender equality also want sons.”

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