It’s a girl – the three deadliest words.

Why are 200 million girls missing?

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”.

The definition of genocide is a systematic and methodical extermination of a certain group. Gendercide is that – the systematic and methodical extermination of a gender group.

"Today Indian and China eliminate more girls than the number of girls born in America very year."

Lianyungang in China has the worst infant gender ratio on record with 163 boys born for every 100 girls. Taiwan, South Korea and Pakistan are also countries in which unwanted female babies are aborted, killed or abandoned.

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.

Parents of daughters flee to save their family.

"What this is is an entire system, a social machinery that says, we don't want females".

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.

"A ‘secret genocide’ is a malaise in response to which government paternalism must surely be justified," comments blogger Ram Mashru (Huffington Post, Global Politics Magazine).

"In Kashmir, officials have enlisted the help of social and religious leaders. It is religious and social leaders that must reinforce legal prohibitions on dowries with campaigns attacking the social pressures of producing one. And they must supplement information of women’s rights by persuading mothers to educate their daughters and to allow their daughters to work.

"These cultural channels are best placed to begin to erode sexist cultural monoliths," Mashru concludes.

Shot on location in India and China by Shadowline FIlms, It’s a Girl! explores the issue of gendercide. 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.

Currently in post-production, It’s a Girl! is scheduled for a 2012 release.

For more information aboout the film, click here.

To support the project, post the trailer to your Facebook page or send a link by email to your friends, family and anyone else who will listen. Tell them the film is coming, and ask them to share the news as well. Connect with Shadowline FIlms on Facebook for periodic news about the film and gendercide.

(*)Vlachovà, Marie and Biason, Lea, Eds. (2004) Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women – Facts, Figures and Analysis. Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.




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