‘It’s a girl’. Why are these words so deadly for so many?

Last night I saw a documentary called ‘It’s a girl’.

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 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.

Here are some truly frightening stats from the documentary –

  • each year China & India ‘eliminate’ more girls than the number of girls born in the USA
  • each year in India 100,000 women are killed because they haven’t produced sons, or their husband and in-laws are unhappy with the dowry paid by her parents
  • dowries have been outlawed in India, however ‘dowry deaths’ still occur and are rarely investigated by authorities
  • female feticide (abortion due to discovering the baby is a girl) is socially acceptable in India
  • techniques used to enforce China’s ‘one child policy’ include forced abortion & forced sterilisation
  •  the ‘one child policy’ means that there are many more men than women in China. This leads to increased child trafficking from nearby countries and kidnapping of child brides

Horrifying.

The film shared stories of women who have killed baby after baby waiting to give birth to a son. But it also shared stories of brave women fighting to save their daughters lives.

One such women was Dr Mitu Khurana. Her husband and mother-in-law starved her for days, then feed her food they knew she was allergic to in order to get her to a hospital so they could bride a doctor to secretly find out the sex of her unborn twins (in violation of the PCPNDT Act). When it was discovered they were girls she was pressured to have an abortion. Instead she fled, gave birth to her daughters and now, years later, she continues to try to have her husband & doctors held accountable for what they did. In return she has been threatened with rape and the death of herself & her daughters if she doesn’t drop her complaint against the doctor.

Read more about her story here.

And visit itsagirlmovie.com to find out what we can do to speak for the voiceless girls around the world.

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