Why We Exist
Value. Life. Opportunity. For the Indian Girl-Child. We believe through thoughtful and targeted partnerships (financial, positional and influential) we can significantly impact the "tipping point" that moves the people of India from a cultural ethos that views females as a liability to one that values their
Magnitude of the Problem
The discrimination of females in India first manifests itself through female feticide (gender identification abortions), female infanticide and extreme neglect of the girl baby. Since many of these deaths go unreported it is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of girl babies eliminated each year. By comparing sex ratios (number of females per 1,000 males) of India with the normal ratio (1.05 females/1.00 males) it becomes clearly evident that the lives of females are not valued equally to males. In South India the ratio of girls to boys is concerning (0.93/1.00) and in some districts it is even more alarming (0.78/1.00).
The Indian Medical Association estimates that five million female fetuses are aborted each year (infochangeindia.org) and the Indian 2001 Census registered a sharp fall in sex ratios accounting for the loss of approximately 900,000 girls a year (unicef.org/india). In one small village outside of Madurai, India almost every family practices female infanticide to every girl that is not first born in her family. Each year, of the 120 families living in this small village between 35 and 40 girl babies are not given a name and are quietly drown in the first few days of their lives.
Statistics also clearly illustrate that the problem exists:
The ratio of females to males aged 0-6 years has been declining quite sharply over the last three decades, from 964 females aged 0-6 per 1,000 males of the same age in 1971 to 927 (per 1,000 males) in 2001. [more]
The Indian Medical Association estimates that five million female fetuses are aborted every year.
According to a UNICEF report in 2006, in India: An estimated 7,000 fewer girls are born every day because of the spread of cheap, prenatal sex-determination technology. [more]
Larry Milner states, “Each year, twelve million girls are born in India but 1.5 million die before they reach their first birthday; only 9 million are still alive by age fifteen years.” (Milner, Larry. “Hardness of Heart/Hardness of Life: The stain of Human Infanticide,” 245).
Many of the 1.5 million girls that die before their first birthday are victims of female infanticide. Mothers, grandmothers and midwives are believed to do much of the killing. The means, the method by which the girls are killed is even more astonishing than the number itself. Some of the female infants are fed dry rice that still contains the husks, which will puncture the windpipes of the child. Other girls are made to swallow poisons, are smothered with wet towels that causes pneumonia, are shaken to death, are buried alive or drowned to death. (Milner, Larry. “Hardness of Heart/Hardness of Life: The stain of Human Infanticide,” 241). [more]