First of all, we would like to thank our Allah Almighty who made us capable to put our efforts in the project.
In performing our assignment, we had to take the help and guideline of some respected persons, who deserve our greatest gratitude and respect. The completion of this assignment gives us much Pleasure. We would like to show our gratitude to our course instructor Ma’am Sana Ashraf Chatha, for giving us a guideline for assignment throughout numerous consultations. We would also like to expand our deepest gratitude to all those who have directly and indirectly guided us and helped us in this research.
Many people, especially our classmates and seniors itself, have made valuable comment suggestions on this proposal which gave us an inspiration to improve our assignment. We thank all the people for their help directly and indirectly to complete our assignment. Their energy and help are highly appreciated.
This report covers two of the major issues of our society. The first one is gender discrimination and the other one is overpopulation. The presented paper examines how the demand of sons is causing overpopulation. To perform a valid research, survey method was used. The data was collected from the respected faculty members and Students of the Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab. The analysis of the questionnaires shows that many people agreed with the original hypothesis. They agreed that demand of sons is a cause of overpopulation. Whereas some disagreed, they believe that demand of sons is not a cause of overpopulation and thus an alternate hypothesis was developed according to disagreed respondents.
Son preference is not a myth, especially in countries of South Asia like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Scholars has observed sex-selective abortions in Pakistan that lead to abnormally high birth ratios of boys to girls. This strongly effects the women’s health because female fetuses are repeatedly aborted until a son is conceived. In Pakistan sons are expected to support their parents in old age and to become economic assets for the family, where as parents need to raise the daughter, educate her and she get married to other family. The parents need huge amount of money for dowry and other expenses in the form of her education. In Pakistan, parents live with their sons in their old age. This is a major reason why boys are considered to be more precious than girls. Recent data from Pakistan also confirm the continued desire for sons.
In Pakistan, discrimination against the female child is a function of cultural and economic factors. In a culture where son preference exists, scarcity of resources may heighten the discrimination against females. Parents often think that daughters will usually move to their in-law’s after marriage so having an investment in a daughter is unproductive. In their view, educating girls is like planting seeds in a neighbor’s garden. In Pakistani culture daughters are considered to be other people’s property whereas sons are considered to be assets worthy of both short and long-term investment. The parents think the son as their caretaker in old age, whereas daughters went to a new family. Such explanations do not adequately focus on the structural context of son preference.
Some people consider daughter a burden, because they think they had to raise her, invest in her, but after that she gets married to other man. Dowry is one the major reason of daughter as burden. If a daughter is born in these kinds of family, it greatly affects its phycology. She is not loved by her father. Parents don’t send her to schools to get education whereas the education of a girl is more important than a boy because mother is the first teacher of a child.
In Pakistan, in order to get a son a person go for a second marriage even he has no guarantee of getting a son with his second wife. The man neglects his wife who were unable to give him a son and make a polygamy structure.
Most of the people want a beautiful wife but they don’t want a daughter. They even know that their mother, sisters and wives were also someone’s daughter but they still hate the idea of having daughters. They also know that both sons and daughters are given to them by Allah Almighty but they still prefer sons.
These type of parents on the birth of a girl usually go for abortion and try again to conceive boy. The demand of son is mainly by the father and his family, they demand a son because a son is an heir and ensure the survival of the line of their family.
In Pakistan, when a daughter is born the parents usually try again to conceive a son. In their attempt they continue to produce children until a son is born. This is one of the major reasons of overpopulation in our country. In Pakistan, society curse women giving birth to daughters. More than 60% of the divorces in Pakistan are due to the birth of a daughter. The divorce rate in a couple having sons is lesser than the couple having daughters. On the contrary, Islam consider daughter a blessing of Allah Almighty, and to raise a daughter and then marry her properly is given the rank of Hajj.
“Lucky is the woman; whose first child is a daughter”
The objective of this study of son preference is to investigate the effects of social structural factors, such as family type, social power differences, and difference in husband’s and wife’s ages and its effect on population growth rate.
According to worldometers.com
- The current population of Pakistan is 202,437,098 as of Sunday, December 9, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
- Pakistan population is equivalent to 2.63% of the total world population.
- Pakistan ranks number 6 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
- The population density in Pakistan is 260 per Km2 (675 people per mi2).
- The total land area is 770,880 Km2 (297,638 sq. miles)
- 39.5 % of the population is urban (79,279,647 people in 2018)
- The median age in Pakistan is 22.7 years.
To support our hypothesis several literatures were studied. Some of their important facts are given below which will strengthen our research.
In Pakistan, preference for boys over girls is deeply culturally embedded. From birth, many women experience gendered disadvantages; less access to scarce resources, poorer health care, higher child mortality, limited education, less employment outside of the home and circumscribed autonomy. The prevalence of psychological morbidity is exceptionally high among women. We hypothesized that, among women of childbearing age, gender disadvantage is an independent risk factor for psychological morbidity.
“Everyone wants an inheritor,” says Bilquis. “We keep talking about Islamic values but do not follow them in our lives which teach us daughters are blessings,” she adds while expressing her resentment over gender discrimination that claims the lives of many born and unborn girls. Sitting cross-legged on her bed casually, she is talking to Irfana, a widow, who has flown to Pakistan from the US to adopt a boy.
Bilquis worked side by side with her late husband, Abdul Sattar Edhi. She has seen it all before — the beaten wives, the distressed children, the abandoned babies and numerous little dead bodies. She has many stories to tell, mostly heart-wrenching, of infants who were found dead from trash dumps nibbled at furiously by animals.
Dr Mahjabeen Khan discusses a case where a husband stood outside the labor room, threatening his wife of divorcing her if she delivered a girl. “The baby was not even completely out when the patient sat up to check its gender. She had given birth to her eighth daughter and went in shock soon after,” recalls Dr Khan. “It was a normal case till then but suddenly complications arose because of the husband and his desire to have an heir. I can still hear echoes of him screaming. It was quite traumatic.”
Pakistan’s sex ratio at birth (SRB) is fairly skewed. Typically, the sex ratio at birth usually oscillates around 105 male births per 100 female births. In Pakistan, it is estimated to be 109.9. In other words, around 110 male births per 100 female births; this is close to India which is infamous for sex-selective abortions.
“The fact that the majority of babies recovered from garbage dumps are girls, the fact that most of the babies left in Edhi cradles, hospitals and maternity clinics are girls, the fact that less girls are born in Pakistan than boys and the fact that the primary and secondary school participation of girls is small in number in contrast to boys, is not just mere coincidence. They are all tied together and point to the mindset of our society — the obsession to have sons, and the savagery and discrimination that results as its consequence.” (Faisal Edhi)
“90-95% of infants abandoned by the parents and recovered by the relief organization are girls.” (The Edhi Foundation)
We collected data in the form of numbers, being quantitative in nature. We collected our data from students of the University of the Punjab, Lahore. Our seniors were very cooperative in filling the questionnaires provided to them. Some of the respondents agree to the original hypothesis while some disagreed. Owing to this, we generated an alternate hypothesis which corresponds to the overall analysis of the questionnaires. Following are the scientific methods of carrying out a reliable, valid and authentic investigation for our present paper.
According to the survey results, original hypothesis was proved rather than alternate hypothesis. It is essential to explain the overall analysis results as well as per question in order to have a better understanding of the present paper study.
- In this question we asked the respondents which baby gender is usually preferred, 88% said that boys are preferred whereas 12% answered that girls are preferred.
- In this question we asked general reaction of people on the birth of a girl, 50% answered happy, 30% depressed and 20% ignorant.
- Third question was about the people who increase their wives to get a son. 76% people agreed with the statement while 24% didn’t agreed and they think that people don’t increase wives to get a son.
- In the fourth question we asked the respondents, whether a girl is considered as a burden in our society or not. 50% of the respondents answered in yes while 50% answered in no.
- In fifth question the respondents were asked that can a daughter can ever get a position of a son in parent’s eyes. 74% answered in yes while 26% answered in no.
- Sixth question was about one of the major problems of our society. 14% answered that mother should be blamed for giving the birth to a daughter while 86% disagreed and they believe that mother cannot be blamed for giving birth to a girl.
- In the seventh question we asked respondents that do birth of girls brings fortune? 90% answered in yes while 10% answered in no.
- The eighth question was about gender discrimination. 90% respondents agreed that gender discrimination is becoming a serious problem in Pakistan. 10% respondents don’t think gender discrimination as an issue in Pakistan.
- In the ninth question we asked our audience that do demand of boys by the parents leads to overpopulation? 64% respondents believe that demand of boys is leading to overpopulation while 36% did not believed this statement.
- Tenth question was about gender discrimination of babies causing divorces. 74% respondents agreed that baby’s gender discrimination is causing divorces, while 26% think that baby’s gender is not causing any divorces.
- In the eleventh question we asked our audience their view on china’s one child policy. 46% respondents believed that tit should be implemented in Pakistan, while 54% don’t want china’s one child policy to be implemented.
Question No. 12 from our survey were made open ended in order to get the opinions of our audience on their view on sex selective abortions. The following suggestions were given by the respondents
- It is Taboo.
- It must be banned.
- Girls take care of their parents more than boys so they should be treated as equal.
- Awareness seminars should be held.
Hence, it is concluded that most of the people agreed to the hypothesis that boys are preferred to raise by the parents and is causing overpopulation. Boys are preferred over girls. Majority of the people want sons rather than daughters. Gender Discrimination is also becoming a major problem in our society. In our society, mothers are blamed for giving birth to daughters whereas according to the research the father is responsible for giving birth to a daughter, father has Y chromosome which produces a son. So, Y chromosome must come from father. Whereas mother can only give birth to daughter. It is the father who cause birth of a son. There is 50-50 chance of birth of son or a daughter. But if one really should be blamed, it must be the father.
Sex selective abortions are happening in our country higher than any other country which is a nightmare for all of us. This should be banned in our country. Preference of boys over girls should be discredited. Abortion is taboo and some consider it as a murder. Therefore, government should introduce fetus protection laws, and aware the people about dangers of overpopulation.
Hypothesis was proved and majority of the people agree that demand of boys is causing overpopulation. In order for the unorthodox perspective of the people to be maintained, few recommendations are stated to keep it this way.
- Abortion should be banned.
- People having sex selective abortions should be punished.
- Law should be made to protect fetus.
- Girls and Boys should be considered equal.
- China’s one child policy should be introduced.
- Awareness seminars should be held.
- Government should introduce family management policies.
- Government must make laws about mother’s and daughter’s protection.
‘What good would a son do to me that a daughter won’t?’