India is the forth most dangerous country in which to be born a woman, according to the United Nations. Twice as many girls die between the ages of one and five as boys. Women are treated worse than animals, they are raped, they are beaten, they are born into a world where their lives can follow one of three paths – death, trafficked, or forced to marry. I would like to think the mother-in-law in this story was just dismayed over the fact her new granddaughter may have met one of these fates, but I suppose it’s just as likely to think she was merely disappointed in the fact her daughter-in-law didn’t have a son. From NDTV.com:
A 22-year-old woman was pushed from the terrace of her house allegedly by her mother-in-law after she gave birth to a baby girl in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district. The woman, who already has a two-year-old daughter, was allegedly threatened by her in-laws during her second pregnancy that if she did not give birth to a boy, they would make her life difficult. The woman gave birth to a baby girl about a month ago. She was allegedly being tortured by her in-laws since. The woman has suffered injuries to her back bone after today’s fall. She is receiving treatment at a local hospital.
I think this goes a bit beyond “making her life difficult.”
It sort of really puts in perspective about how so many of us have mother-in-laws who annoy us. I know I have complained about my own “MIL” plenty of times, and how she has complained about how I raise my own children and little things that irk us about each other. At least she has never tried to kill me over giving birth to a daughter.
Girls are considered a burden in India. Fathers have to pay a dowry for their daughters to marry. There is a disproportionate ratio of males to females in India because of gendercide. In most traditional Indian homes, women eat their meals after their husbands and children have finished, leaving them with malnutrition and hunger. In a terrible and sad way, it sort of makes sense not to want to raise a daughter in India. From CNN.com:
“They would cry and yell, ‘What are you doing giving birth to a girl? Push her off the roof of the building, kill her! Why are you keeping her?’” the 25-year-old mother says.
Sumanjeet says people kept telling her to get an ultrasound check and abort all four of her daughters. They told her she wouldn’t have enough money for a suitable dowry.
With 24,000 cases of rape reported in 2011, maybe this mother-in-law who shoved her daughter off a balcony was just horridly dismayed over the fact that another girl was being born into a country where women as seen as less wanted than animals. We will probably never know. The mother-in-law has been reported missing.