In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls(1) are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls.Shot on location in India and China, It’s a Girl reveals the issue. It asks why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls and women.The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters’ lives, and of other mothers who would kill for a son. Global experts and grassroots activists put the stories in context and advocate different paths towards change, while collectively lamenting the lack of any truly effective action against this injustice.
(This is the synopsis is provided on the website.)
In India, wedded couples get pregnant in hopes of a boy as opposed to a girl. This is because of a tradition known as dowry. Dowry is the price the family of the wife must pay to the family of the husband in order for the wife to be deserving of the male. There have been many accounts where the women are harmed because their family could not afford a suitable dowry. Families are often extremely against the birth of a daughter because of this financially harmful tradition, and therefore support the birth of a male to receive the benefits. In order to protect themselves against paying dowry, families commit gendercide, a term coined to define the genocide of infants or young women because of their gender.
These same issues are prevalent in China as well, where a policy limits families to the birth of one male, or if the firstborn is a female, a second shot at a son. Families who have more than two (legal) children are tracked down and are forced to pay a fine or abort the child they are pregnant with. In China, men are valued more as well, therefore firstborn daughters are often abandoned or killed to make sure the couple has a son.
If you are interested in learning more about this, I again suggest you watch the documentary. There are ways you can help as well.
This is a very brief summary of all of what I learned, as I mostly felt the need to spread word on a topic few people are educated about. Therefore, I ask you to educate yourself as to the goings on in other countries, for the basic human rights of these young women or infants are being denied on a horrendously frequent basis.
Thank you for reading,