My research topic is female infanticide in South Asia and intends to highlight the role gender plays in the decisions women are making and the development and elevation of women’s status in society
I’ve only ever looked at infanticide through the context of China’s One-Child Policy or Post War Korea but I wanted to redirect my interest to South Asia to further understand infanticide as an evolving and global act. Initially, my interest was to create a well-rounded understanding of the subject and reinforce much of the current knowledge of infanticide but in doing so I realized It would be a disservice to the true survivors of infanticide, the women and mothers both indirectly and directly involved in choosing to kill their own children.
My interest became a mission to create a narrative that looks deeper into the women making these decisions and the role society plays in reinforcing/ coercing these decisions. Therefore, I’m interested in the interaction and interplay between gender and society; putting women at the center as actors navigating and responding within these roles that society has put them in and pair these constraints with their own potential to overcome these societal expectations as a possible solution and or alternative to infanticide.
Coming to this idea that if we can understand the decisions women are making, we can greater understand the role that women play as both as a consequence and an indicator of development.
My research interest was inspired by Indian Economist, Amartya Sen, article More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing which exposed the 100 Million women who were ‘missing’ or ‘lost’ due to either infanticide or poor health and related to high mortality rates. Sen outlined how the current literature was not getting to the true ‘loss’ and impact factors leading to and revolving infanticide not only have on women but on their status and position in greater society . The article sought to create a new narrative and conversation to a reality that many must face and I was inspired by Sen’s efforts and focus on women’s social and economic development.
In furthering my own research interests and process I wish to look more at even the context of infanticide scholarship and the perspectives and lenses in which female infanticide is written. Rather, looking to understand infanticide, not as a lack of women but an active decision in choosing boys over girls and less emphasis on why boys are chosen but more on why girls are not. The questions of why girls are consistently not the default.
I look forward to working with Olson Faculty to better outline my interests and topics and grow into a topic that is worthy of its content.