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Female foeticide must stop: PM

August 23, 2005 15:19 IST

Observing that empowerment of women must begin even before birth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the "unacceptable crime" of female foeticide using modern technology must be stopped.

"The unacceptabe crime of female foeticide, being encouraged by the widespread misuse of modern technology and its mindless commercial exploitation must be stopped," he said addressing a national conference on 'Role of Women in Nation Building' in New Delhi.

Urging people to come forward to put an end to this "misuse of medical technology", he said the "hazardous effect of this practice is already there for us to see in some of our most developed states like Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi".

"This is creating a gender imbalance in our population that is harmful to our nation and society," he said adding that efforts must be made to restore balance by protecting the life of the girl child from conception, by investing in the nourishment and education of the girl child and in the empowerment of women.

Asking chief ministers to pay special attention to the education of the girl child, Dr Singh said that they must take special care to ensure protection for women against domestic and social violence, including rape, eveteasing and sexual harassment. "I want the states where the social record is not very encouraging to learn from those where great effort has been made", he added.


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