The Issue

Imagine a family in rural India living on less than $.70 a day, that’s just over $250 dollars a year. There’s no affordable means of birth control. This family conceives a female child.  She is another mouth to feed in which they cannot afford. In order for her to be married a dowry will be demanded by the husband’s family.

A dowry is money or property brought by a bride to her husband at marriage.

These dowries can run up to anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 or more.  Although this practice is now illegal in India, it is still widely practiced. If you do the math you can see that a dowry for a girl-child in rural India is an impossibility. Likewise, you can see how the demand for a male child is of the utmost importance.

Imagine another family in India with the same set of poverty circumstances as above. Ancient Indian practices, which are widely followed in rural India today, state that females are the lowest form of humanity. Families have practiced this for years – this is all that is known. They also believe in re-incarnation, which is the belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form. So the family, upon birth, will make a decision that if their child is female, that it must be disposed of immediately to allow for a hopeful male rebirth.  The child wins and the family wins.

The same sets of beliefs saturated in ancient Indian traditions are also applicable in the urban parts of India. In many cases, sex-selective ultrasounds & subsequent abortions are performed. Even if girls are allowed to live, 1 in 6 do not survive to the age of 10, or little girls are sold into slavery or bonded labor.

Today, in India, it is said that over 60 million girls are missing from society.

What will this mean for the future of India? There aren’t enough girls. The most recent Indian census data from 2011 shows the situation is getting worse. There are now only 914 girls aged 0-6 years old for every 1,000 boys the same age, which is down from 927 in the previous census in 2001.  Those numbers might not seem significant at first glance, but in 20 years the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge. When these children reach adulthood, their generation will have over 24 million more men than women.

This ratio imbalance has and will continue to lead to a spike in sex trafficking and bride buying in India and many more far-reaching problems could be on the horizon, from ancient Rome to the American Wild West, historical excesses of men have yielded periods of violence and instability.

Vision

Our vision is to create an India where a girl’s value is respected.