Father and daughter holding hands and walking-blog post of Akshata Shanbhag


“A world without girls is as inconceivable as a world without water.”

During my pregnancy, my family and friends would offer their blessings and good wishes by saying:

“May God bless you with a healthy son.”

“May Lord Krishna or Lord Ganesha be born.”

“May you be blessed with a baby boy.”

To the best of my recollection, there were very few instances or occasions where people blessed me by saying:

“May you be blessed with a healthy baby girl.”

Yet, I always desired a daughter, and I am both blessed and proud to have one. I would often respond by saying:

“Why a son and not a daughter? Bless me to have a daughter.”

On one occasion, someone told me:

“Lord Ganesha will be born, and you will be happy.”

I smiled at her and politely replied:

“Why Ganesha and not Gauri? I want Gauri.”

Her response was silence, as if I had expressed a wish for something completely unconventional to be born into my family.

Amongst women, despite the fact that daughters often provide more affection and emotional support, the “capacity” to produce a son remains a significant determinant of a woman’s status within the family.

In accordance with Confucian belief, the continuation of the family lineage is possible only through a male child. In Hinduism, while daughters hold some significance, such as in the act of giving a daughter away in marriage (kanyadan), when a Hindu parent passes away, it is typically the son who is expected to perform the last rites. Some devout believers even hold that without a son to perform these rites, their souls may not reach heaven.

The Vietnamese proverb succinctly states, “With one son, you have a descendant; with ten daughters, you have nothing.”

Globally, approximately 10 percent of girls aged 5-14 years spend 28 hours a week or more performing household chores, which is nearly double the proportion of boys expected to undertake the same amount of domestic work.

In terms of education, social status, and earning potential, men generally enjoy an advantage. Girls are sometimes denied education because they are perceived as being confined to domestic duties. The birth of a girl child is often considered a burden, while the birth of a son is celebrated.

Despite the significant progress made in the world and discussions about women’s empowerment, there still exists a strong desire for male children, not only in India but in other parts of the world as well. To change this mindset, it requires a collective effort, where individuals collectively shift their perspectives. Do you agree with me?

After the birth of my daughter, a friend of mine remarked that I was blessed to have a girl while she had a son. I inquired why she said that, and she responded that daughters are born to those who are truly blessed. I smiled and replied, “Indeed, I am blessed.”

“Daughters are often angels in disguise.”


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