Female gendercide has exterminated the lives of millions of girls and is a problem of global scale. It is ongoing and places 3 million more girls at risk each year. We must do our bit to stop this from perpetuating, no matter where we live. The biggest mistake of all is to do nothing, thinking the problem is too huge and we can only do a little. Remember, David fought Goliath and won!
Although many countries have criminalized female infanticide and banned sex-selection technologies, the laws are often ignored and their enforcement is difficult. Change cannot often be mandated from the top; it must arise through social advocacy, education, and healthcare at the grass roots level. People’s mindsets need to change. One person, one action, and one small step at a time can create big change, even if that change takes time. We must take that first step towards action.
When a family kills or aborts a girl child, they believe that it is only “one” child less. They think it makes no difference and lack awareness of the future problems it creates and what gendercide is doing to social dynamics and landscape of entire countries. Educational campaigns are fundamental to enabling families to understand that girls should not be considered as liabilities and that when they are looked after adequately, they provide great contribution in promoting well-being and forward progress of their communities.
Be a voice if a family member discriminates against the birth of a female child. In spite of gendercide being such a ubiquitous crime, it is a silent issue and has very little mark on the record of human history. Since it is mostly a poor family’s problem, very few first-person accounts are described. It is an unspoken, ignored topic - the darker underbelly of many countries. Some countries do not allow their statistics to be disclosed openly. Stand up and protest if you see it about to happen. Do not allow it. Your voice can save a life.
Give gifts and donations to abandoned and orphaned girls around the world. The ‘Cradle Baby Scheme’ and baby hatches allow parents to leave unwanted girls in safe place like hospitals and orphanages, where they will be looked after and placed for adoption. These places need ongoing resources. Your donations of supplies and money go a long way in helping a girl-child receive the care she needs – a safe home, 3 square meals a day, medical care, and support from social workers.
BE AN ADVOCATE
Speak up against contributing social problems like dowry, child marriage, lack of female education, and harassment. 9000 women are murdered for dowry issues - almost one women per hour. 27% of girls in India marry before the age of 18 - it has the highest number of world child brides.If a woman gives birth to the female child, she is often blamed and harassed. Speak up, and get the police and social organizations involved to take action. Lobby against forced abortions, for increased sex-education and better contraceptive access, and for affordable education and healthcare for girls as a means to prevent female gendercide.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA
The Internet is a powerful tool. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and podcasts to spread awareness about gendercide globally. Write blogs, create films, poems and songs, and screen the movie “It’s a Girl” for others. Gendercide is a hidden issue that is talked about openly. It's consequences are not understood nor are people aware that it has spread from Asia to other countries and is being seen in Canada, UK, and USA. Social media is an immediate way to reach a large audience and draw attention to this serious and widescale issue.
SUPPORT A GIRL'S EDUCATION
Education is imperative to improving a woman’s status in society - allowing for gainful employment and supporting her financial independence. Educated women understand family planning better, make economic contributions, and take well-informed decisions for their families. Infant mortality rate decreases and the age of marriage increases. There is overall social and economic progress for the nation. Gender equality in education empowers women and is at the heart of a country’s successful development.
SUPPORT A GIRL'S HEALTHCARE
One quarter of girls in India do not live past puberty. For a girl to survive and thrive, she must receive adequate early childhood care - milk supplements, food rations, immunizations, vitamins, safe drinking water, and the proper nourishment to grow. A girl in a high-risk situation must be monitored by medical personnel. Mothers must receive prenatal counseling and affordable antenatal care. Psychological care is equally important to make a girl-child realize that her life is valuable and she is important to society.
BE A BILLBOARD
Represent what you stand for by wearing a T-shirt, wristband, button or pin. This opens up conversations and draws attention to female gendercide and the lethal prejudice against girls. Partner with fundraising events and place an informational flyer at the check in area. Place flyers on the notice boards of cultural centers, temples, public libraries or distribute them in low-income slum areas. Point out resources and organizations that can help. This draws attention to the problem, it does not remain hidden.
SIGN A PETITION
Sign the ‘50 Million Missing’ campaign petition and the petition on ‘Women’s Rights without Frontiers’ against forced abortions in China. Start your own signature campaign and circulate it among your friends and family and direct it to the attention of your local civic governing body. Get involved with county youth commissions to show that this may be an insidious problem in the local community. Become vocal and fight for change of mindset and the status quo. Other people will gradually join in and give their support to fighting against female infanticide.
SUPPORT OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Remember that you are not a lone voice. Connect with other organizations that are working for the eradication of female gendercide and are rescuing girls and supporting their care-The Invisible Project, Unique Home, The Pushpa Project, Snehalaya. Also support organizations that are working for education and healthcare in underserved and rural areas - Ekal and NSF. Helping their missions gives compounded effet and reaches out to more girls and their families. Everyone benefits when we stand to rally together.