In India, many families are taking their gender preferences a bit too far. Because of the perceived material benefit of having boys, women tend to terminate girl pregnancies more often. This has resulted in the country having one of the worst gender balances in the world.
Various Indian governments have tried to tackle the problem in different ways. The latest such maneuver is asking Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to censor advertisements for services that determine the sex of unborn children:
It’s good that at least they’re trying to do something about the problem. However, throwing the dead cat in the search engine’s yard is a cheap and cowardly solution. And like all such solutions, it won’t do much. The adverts only help certain companies get customers from other companies who don’t advertise. Without the commercials, people will simply turn to whatever word of mouth is available. And in the third millennium, word travels fast, censorship or not.
If India really wants change when it comes to gender equality, then the only option is, of course, education. Children, along with their families, have to carefully and respectfully be given the teachings that will make them realize the importance of gender balance. Pragmatically speaking, the digital age has annihilated pretty much any economic advantage men had over women. In a healthy society women can now contribute as the equals they always should have been. It’s jolly time to get healthy, India.