Welcoming another life to this world is the most beautiful and satisfying experience of parents. In nine months duration in mother’s womb, mother suffers cramps, pains and giddiness with happy face while father prepares to welcome the new born. As the ninth month comes to an end, mother eagerly readies to get labour pain. Despite one foot away from death; mother bears all pains and tears in good faith. As baby comes out from the womb, parents fight with worries. Will my child have ten toes and two feet? Will those two little feet normal? Aren’t the mouth cleft, eyes blind and ears deaf? For many parents whether child is male or female becomes a secondary worry.
However for few people, the preference for male and female issues becomes primary concern? In India, everyday, I read in paper that girl child being abused, female fetus aborted and woman being discriminated. Even in a family, male are preferred to female and preferences were given to male child. If one is poor, the burden on parents increase once the baby hit the floor. The parents work day and night to save for dowry. Today the ratio between male and female in some part of India became so huge that female from other parts of regions were either abducted or bought to be the wives.
In Bhutan, numbers of men are slightly more than women. Going by trend, gender gap will be bridged soon. Some may wonder I say this. I have met more people who want their child to be girl especially those who are expecting first child. They believe girl child will be more responsible and caring than male child. She will look after her younger siblings; help mother in kitchen while male child will never listens to what parents say. Almost every parent wants their first child to be girl.
I also met quite a numbers of couple who have more than one male child. Women conceived hoping that their next child will be girl. In trying they end up having more and more male children. To give an example, while I was in hospital, I met a couple who have two dashing boys. They loved their children so much but they prayed that their third child to be girl. Their answer wasn’t answered as God gave them another handsome boy. As they have already done two caesarians, mother had a TLC done which is permanent contraception. Later when I told them, I became father of a girl, they were almost jealous.
Likewise, my neighbor also decided to get pregnant the second time hoping for a girl. She knew it was a ‘do or die’ game as she had already done caesarian in first birth. She also became mother of two boys. Now she is mulling to adopt a girl. In the offices, in the market and in the hospital, I have come across many couple who wish for a girl. Some of them ignore family planning advice in hope of a girl child, some put their lives at risks and some even adopted girl child.
A nurse in JDWNRH in a response to one eager women who was doing ultrasonic said, ‘it is not important to worry whether the child is male or female, it is important to worry whether the child will be normal with ten toes and two legs, whether child has required senses or whether the child is healthy enough.” What this nurse says is true, but some couple becomes parents of basketball team while hoping for girl child that may not be in their fate to raise.