Growing up as a girl in India

By October 9, 2015
(Photo courtesy Mission India)

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

India (Mission India) — [EDITOR’S NOTE: October 11 is International Day of the Girl. But Mission India shares in this blog post that not all girls around the world are celebrated.]

Maybe you are thinking about the girls that make your life wonderful: a daughter, niece, or sister. I’m sure that for most couples you know, the birth of a baby (whether it’s a boy or a girl) brings joy. But in India, that’s not the case for many families. Girls are unwanted and discriminated against all their lives…simply because of their gender.

Strides are being made towards gender equality in India, but growing up as a woman in India is still no easy task.

We’ve put together this “everything you need to know” guide about the plight of women in India. Use it as a reference to pray specifically for women and girls in India. Also, dive deeper into issues that you care about…and share it with your friends and family!

57% of men in India believe it is justified for husbands to beat their wives, and 53% of women also believe this abuse is justified.

Bride Burning
An estimated 22 women are victims of bride burning every day.

Child Marriage
India is home to 1 in every 3 child brides in the world.

Families are expected to pay a dowry of expensive gifts of money when a daughter marries.

Female Infanticide (and sex-selective abortions)
In India’s capital city, Delhi, there are only 866 females for every 1,000 males.

Having an Older Sister
A woman who has one daughter already is more likely to kill any other daughters born to her.

Millions of girls are never sent to school because it is considered a waste of precious resources.

Since many families choose to kill daughters, there are not enough brides for men–especially in certain areas of India, so girls are stolen from other communities to be brides.

Lack of Food
If a family is poor, a son is the first to be fed, and the “less valuable” girl is given leftover scraps to eat.

Less Medical Attention
Parents are more likely to seek medical help for sick sons than daughters who are ill.

Religious Prostitution
An estimated 50,000 devadasis (temple prostitutes) live in south India.

Sex Trafficking
India has an estimated 1.2 million child prostitutes.

“Unwanted” Girls
Many girls in India are seen as burdens; some are even named “Unwanted.”

India’s 40+ million widows are rejected and seen as cursed.

Witch Accusations
One study showed that 2,500 women accused of being witches in India died over a stretch of 15 years.


  • Amit says:

    I’m a backpacker and I found many girls(backpackers) telling me they think its dangerous to travel to India. I m born in India and have traveled to 30 countries and I know how women are treated in many other countries. So find a better topic to write or try to be specific on the places and regions you are getting the stats of. For Ex: I had an experience where a black guy tried threatening me in New York for money. Do I write an article saying USA has so much of crime? That would be silly as I loved California and other places where there is lesser crime. Stop creating negativity in people.

  • Mission Network News says:

    Hello Amit,

    Thank you for your broader perspective and candor, it is something always needed.

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