Female Foeticide: a silent killing of unborn Messiahs

Category: Opinion | Posted date: 2018-11-07 21:08:00 | Updated date: 2019-02-09 09:26:20 | Posted by: Olayinka Olalekan

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Some of these primitive families also subscribe to the notion or superstition that only when funeral rites are performed by a son that the deceased would attain salvation

Female Foeticide: a silent killing of unborn Messiahs

Female foeticide is a selective or deliberate abortion of female foetuses. As this might be frequently talked about in a few parts of the world such as India and China and others; it is a silent killing of many supposed female Messiahs right in the womb on a daily basis in some other parts of the world too.

As if women are inferiors, liabilities, problems or burdens to the society, many people and families think that producing a male or female sex of children is their own responsibility. They go to cruel miles to welcome the sex they prefer and kill the ‘undesired one’ right in the womb through Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP).

Ogo Akobi

Why female foeticide?
In many traditional and conservative families, a girl is considered a liability or burden simply because of the responsibility inherent in raising her. Girl children are vulnerable to sexual harassment, molestation, rape and beating, prompting the parents to fear the demands of rearing, educating, protecting them.

It is now frequent in the dailies to read that girl children from a month old upward are defiled. The pain is that those people responsible for this dastardly act are often adults, sometimes, in their old age. While the female infants are defiled, alarming number of adult women are reportedly molested, raped beaten, the experiences that increase the apprehension of families regarding having many girl children. All these things, in turn, encourage the practice of aborting the foetus in case it is determined to be female.

Another reason foeticide is practised is when a family is giving birth to all-female children without a male. This is often an issue with many traditional and conservative families in many African countries and some parts of Asia. These families are still unable to shake off their longing for a son as they tend to believe that only sons can carry their family names forward and also look after them in their old age. Some of these primitive families also subscribe to the notion or superstition that only when funeral rites are performed by a son that the deceased would attain salvation.

What we should know
Consequently, social attitudes to the women have been changing, resulting from campaigns, sensitisation and reorientation by the governments, private individuals and civil societies. This move has been bringing about enlightenment, leading to the empowerment of women, but the barbaric practice of female foeticide has not been eradicated.

Parenting is not a childish task. Parenting is a ministry—the foundation for a healthy or an unhealthy society. Every family or parent needs to get things right starting from their mindsets. I have seen a family blessed with seven children—all boys and when they grew older, none of them was successful. On the other hand, I have seen another family blessed with five children –all girls and all of them grew to become major voices and authorities in their state and beyond.

Many of the parents are to be blamed for the woes befalling their daughters. Right from the first day of birth of a girl child responsibility has started. Female children need to be much more closer to their mothers in every aspect of their lives because of their level of vulnerability to gender criticism, harassment and sexual assault. But today many parents are too busy to give attention to their children and this is why none of their children including the sons they place much expectations upon even get lost into the social vices.


Very common today, after the birth of two or more girls, many parents go for sex-selective tests and go ahead with the pregnancy only if the foetus is found to be a male. Do we need this? Every foetus in the womb, be it male or female, is a unique human being with a purpose. Imagine the queen of London was killed in the womb! Look around you for a notable woman that is doing your community, state or country very proud was killed in the womb, what would have become of those destinies meant to be lifted through her by now?

What we should do

It is a social and moral responsibility of every parent, family and nation to put an end to the practice of female foeticide. It an evil practice and an exhibition of acute ignorance. The awareness on the need to believe in the merits of women in playing multiple roles in the society and in nation building must be genuinely spread. Many of them have proven to be outstanding performers in different professions. They are also giftedly wonderful in their different roles as daughters, sisters, wives and mothers, helping the men to achieve remarkable successes.

Say no to female foeticide.


Olayinka Olalekan Popoola


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