Narika Tackles Gender Preference and Sex Selection

October 30, 2011

There is no question that sex selection and son preference are closely tied with domestic violence against women within our communities. Narika’s efforts to tackle this issue are crucial. Apart from counseling women within the community on the matter, Narika staff and volunteers work to sensitize doctors and staff at medical facilities, as well as local police officers about the cultural nuances that can lead to the practice of sex selection.

The organization recently received a grant to expand their outreach work from Generations Ahead, a California-based outfit that focuses on the social and ethical questions surrounding reproductive technologies. For the past few months, Narika staff member, Shwanika Narayan, has been conducting surveys with South Asian doctors and psychiatrists to find out exactly how prevalent sex selection practices are among the South Asian community in the Bay Area. “Almost all the doctors I met said sex selection had gone down, but it hadn’t completely stopped,” Narayan says. The doctors also said there was a 50 percent chance that the women undergoing these procedures were coerced. One of the therapists Narayan met with mentioned a client who said she has “saved” her daughter by not bringing her into this world! A sad and telling example of how deep-seated and complex this issue is.

Narika will host a workshop on Gender Preference and the continued prevelance in this day and age of sex selective treatments in Bay Area’s South Asian Community. This workshop will be held on Saturday, October 29th at the Fremont Resource Center. I hope you will support this endeavor to discuss the issue and work out strategies to fight this social evil.