Disposable: plight of girls in India

By October 6, 2014

India (MNI) — Editor’s Note: When you think of the word “disposable,” you might think of razors, diapers, or paper plates. You probably don’t think of baby girls.

But, before a girl in India is even born, her life is in danger. What follows is a blog post shared by Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India about the plight of women in India.

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

Why aren’t girls valued in India? Families are expected to pay a dowry of expensive gifts or money when a daughter marries. This can leave a poor family drowning in debt for years. (Dowry is technically outlawed but still practiced widely.)

And families expect sons to provide for them. That means parents want to have sons to take care of them when they get older. Girls, on the other hand, are seen as disposable.

Dangers for baby girls:

*Being “unwanted”
All over India, there are fewer girls than boys. In India’s capital city, Delhi, there are only 866 females for every 1,000 males. Why? Because babies are killed for the “crime” of being girls. Many little girls grow up being told they are a burden, and some are even named “Unwanted.”

*Abortion/Infanticide
In India, moms face pressure to kill their daughters. If an ultrasound (technically illegal in India) reveals that the baby is a girl, many times parents try to poison her before she is born. If the abortion is unsuccessful, the baby may be murdered as an infant or toddler.

*Having an older sister
If a woman has already given birth to a daughter, there is increased pressure (sometimes from her own husband, family, and/or community) to kill a second, third, or fourth daughter. Many baby girls are killed because of this intense social pressure.

*A generational cycle of oppression
If girls survive and go on to give birth to their own children, their own daughters are in danger. They are seen as unwanted burdens in their families … and the cycle continues.

How can we break this cycle?

We can bring the Gospel to the darkest corners of India, where girls are seen as nothing more than a burden. Right now, India does not value girls.

When will this change? When India is transformed by Christ.

Mission India’s Children’s Bible Clubs, Adult Literacy Classes, and Church Planters are helping meet the deepest needs of India’s girls: to know that they are loved and valued.

  • At Children’s Bible Clubs, boys and girls are introduced to the God who created each child in His image. Each year, kids and parents received Jesus as their Savior through Bible Clubs. The truth about God’s love is changing the way parents view their daughters and the way girls view themselves.
  • Adult Literacy Classes encourage newly-literate parents to send their children to school. The Bible-based literacy lessons also emphasize the importance of girls and their immense value in the eyes of God, who loves and created them. Students also learn about the plight of women in India and their rights as citizens.
  • Through Church Planters, entire families are being introduced to the love of God. Their knowledge of the one true God who loves people–no matter their caste or gender–is radically transforming families.

 

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