At least in India, the girl child has been a topic of discussions and debates for the past several decades but, even today, the position appears to remain unchanged. The girl was always an unwanted child, and was found killed at birth. With the advancement of Science and Technology this killing has only gone still further - for now the girl child is being killed even before birth.
The present scenario in which the girl child is mercilessly killed even before birth, does not speak too well about the fate of this species. The scenario is so varied that, it is really difficult to understand what we are really doing or trying to do in this regard.
On the one hand we see girls entering in the fields of all kinds of professions holding senior positions in offices, becoming engineers, doctors, managers etc. We are obviously impressed and are likely to believe that, the position of the girl is now after all not too bad.
However, the complexity of the problem becomes malicious when we see that, together with girls entering professions there is a simultaneous and continuous rise in the graph of crimes against women. Why and how do these two sides of the same problem co-relate, is a mind-boggling situation.
This situation is true of the urban area where education and freedom is given to girls - to a great extent, but even this growth of this class does not really bear any testimony to the equality of girls with boys.
The rural areas consisting of the major chunk of the Indian population see no - yes absolutely no change in the general attitude towards girls. In the villages, girls are not sent to schools and, if at all they are, they drop out after an year or two of schooling.
Here, the myth still remains that, education is useless for girls - they have to concentrate on house work, child bearing and child bringing up all through life - and all this, it is believed needs no education. The village people are hard to convince that education of women is as important if not more important than the education of men.
In the village, the girl child has no say in anything in the home, not even things of her own concern - she is, even to-day in the 21st Century treated as an object to be used instead of an individual human being with all the ingredients of human beings - like her counterparts - the boy.
She, even today remains to have the status of an object to be used or dispensed with at the whims and fancies of her male family members. With this psyche of the average Indian adult, I personally see no light at the end of the dark tunnel.
In my view, even for the urban areas, the prospects of the girl child are not too bright as, even while women are acquiring status and positions in the office - firstly, they do not get the respect the male counterparts get in the offices.
Besides no matter what status a woman may achieve outside home, inside the home she, by and large remains a chattel. When this is the ground reality of the girl at home and outside home it appears that, even education and financial independence have not helped women really enhancing their status vis-^-vis the status of men.
Let us analyze as to why this peculiar situation persists and how we should deal with it. My personal view is that the rise of women and the crime against women going hand in hand is a paradox but not difficult to understand.
It is very clear that, the men who have held the fort single handedly for centuries, would obviously not like to give up their importance, or even share it with women. It is they who resent this rise of the heads of women and so, before women rise to unchallengeable heights the ogre of man wants to crush them.
This he does by using his God gifted physical strength and it is this reason that, crimes against women are now on the rise. The woman who was earlier battered because she was considered a lesser being is now being battered, because she is potential challenge to man's unquestioned supremacy through past several centuries.
Thus, the position remains unchanged even after education and financial independence.
To my mind, there is no single package that could improve matters for the girl child/woman except that men change their attitude towards women. Unless men start regarding women as their equal partners, in the growth of humanity this differentiation between men and women shall continue unabated.
No single item of achievement like education, profession, legal rights or even the mixture of all these will work out a solution - the only feasible solution is the change of mind, the change of attitude of the men towards women. Till this is done, no amount of teaching, preaching or bargaining will help the girl child.
At this juncture when we talk of attitude, I must add that even women have to change their attitude towards the girl child/ women. At least partly women are themselves responsible for their position.
As women it is they who pamper their sons and husbands till they begin to believe that they are really superior beings. Let us all, men and women change our attitudes in this regard and, I am sure it will reap pleasant results.