Witness History: Campaigning against sex-selection in India

Campaigners in India in the 1980s
Photo: Campaigners rally against fetal sex selection in Mumbai in the 1980s. Credit: Dr Vibhuti Patel

Over the last 50 years an estimated 46 million girls have been aborted in India.

The cultural preference for boys and the development of pre-natal sex determination tests like ultrasound in the 1980s, meant an increase in the number of girls being aborted.

Activist Manisha Gupte describes how she campaigned, as part of the feminist movement, against sex-selective abortion – including the use of sit-ins and rallies – eventually raising enough awareness to bring about a national law in 1994 – the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.

BBC World Service – Witness History, Campaigning against sex-selection in India