Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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INDIA: THE MISSING GIRLS – A SOCIETY OUT OF BALANCE

June 24, 2011 , , , , ,

A survey conducted by UK based Thompson Reuters Foundation ranks Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia the five most dangerous countries for women to live in. In these countries basic human rights are systematically denied to women. Though this might be the harsh reality for the majority of the women in these countries, the intent of the series of articles in Real Talkies, on each one of these nations is to showcase possibilities. The focus will be on the pioneers in these countries who break these concrete barriers and let the little girls dream, aspire and believe that anything is possible in their lives.

According to the Census commission of India, in 2001 the sex ratio ( females per thousand males) was 933. It was 946 females for every 1000 males in rural India and surprisingly 900 in Urban India. (CENSUS DATA 2001). 2011 Census data indicates the number slightly improved to an average of 940. (District Wise Sex Ratio 2011). Out of the 640 districts, 102 (thank god) districts have reversed ratio where the females are higher in number than males. While there are some districts where the females to male ratio is in the 500s. The link elaborates more on the specific numbers. Unlike countries that restrict access to education, healthy life, basic sanitation, economic empowerment, equality, India truly nips them in the bud. Why deal with all these issues, let us just not let them be born! It is estimated that 12 million girls were aborted in the last three decades.

INDIA: THE MISSING GIRLS

A Society out of balance

In someways this is far worse than wars. The perpetrators are not men with guns but family members. They are not an isolated group but are spread across the cross section of civil society from urban to rural, rich to poor, educated to uneducated. It is an epidemic!

Petals in the Dust: India’s Missing Girls, will explore the reasons behind this “gendercide”, it’s origin, growth and consequences.It is the intention of the film to serve as a voice for the women of India, calling attention to female infanticide and foeticide, practices that have lead to the biggest genocide in India’s history.  The U.N. has warned that these acts if left unabated, would lead to an increase in trafficking, sexual abuse and violence towards women.

This is not to say, that the status for women who are born is any better. A large section of the female population deals with cultural/religious/economic discrimination, domestic violence/abuse and sex trafficking. It is very true there are many Indias. it is a country of paradoxes. According to me, the main culprit in my opinion that has driven families, women and men to selectively abort their female fetus is the fear of the INDIAN WEDDING and the UGLY dowry.

The great Indian wedding bazaar.

While Indian marriages are fun and colorful for many there is a darkside to the whole affair.The marriage pressure for millions in India does not end with the marriage, a family has continued pressure to contribute to the family that their daughter has been married into – during festivals, at major milestones in their marriage, during childbirth and so on – so there is continued monetary pressure for a lifetime.

A change in the society’s perceptions of the role of women in the Indian family is absolutely necessary for eliminating female infanticide.  While this may sound archaic and primitive, vast majority of families in India are afraid of the consequences and continued pressure they experience after their daughter is married. To break this pattern, education, employment and empowerment of the Indian women is absolutely necessary.

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