A 5-Year-Old is Gang Raped in Delhi and Police Refuses to Act on the Case

Yet another horrific story arises as the struggle on behalf of women and girls continues. In New Delhi, India, when the worried parents indiaof a missing 5-year-old child tried filing a missing person’s report, the police ignored the parents and the case. After the child was kidnapped, two adult men held her hostage for two days while they repeatedly gang-raped the helpless girl. The men sexually tortured the 5-year-old, inserting candles and bottles into her private parts. When the callous men were done with her, they tried to strangle the child and fled the apartment where they held her captive.
The police response was to refuse to act on the case, and when protestors rallied up to demand justice, the police proceeded to beat women protestors! The father of the victim was even offered 2000 rupees, the equivalent to about $40 US dollars, to forget the whole thing and drop the case. The police chief, Neeraj Kumar, says he’s satisfied with the way his force is and that he takes no “moral responsibility.”
policebeatwomenprotestorsWith help from people all around the world, we are hoping there will be justice for this child and her family. Sadly, this is not the first rape case that police chief, Neeraj Kumar, tries to sweep under the rug. What is the purpose of a corrupt police commissioner if not to protect the people in his community? Can the police force ever reform with a chief like this?
On behalf of women and girls in India, we refuse to stand by and hope someone solves this problem. Take action now by joining with our partner, the 50 Million Missing Campaign, to demand immediate action!

Invisible Girl Project and Sevenly Partnering to Save Girls in India

This week, Sevenly is highlighting the work of It’s a Girl’s grassroots partner, Invisible Girl Project (IGP)!

Specifically, every shirt that Sevenly sells this week will support the work of Invisible Girl Project’s partner in South India that has successfully rescued over 170 girls from being murdered, just because they are girls (this is female infanticide).  Through its partner, IGP has been able to have a significant impact in the lives of girls and women in the villages of South India

Through its partner, IGP has found it fundamentally important to first go out into the villages where infanticide is highest and form relationships with village families.  IGP’s social workers determine those families that are at highest risk for committing infanticide.  Knowing the cultural preference for sons, their social workers counsel the at-risk families, emphasizing the value and worth of daughters.

IGP also educates the mothers about healthy pregnancy, provides prenatal care, and helps create a bond between the mother and her unborn child.  Due to the high numbers of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other such diseases, IGP provides medicine and necessary medical care for pregnant mothers who are infected.

When a baby is born, IGP’s social workers travel to be with the family.  If the baby is a girl, they are there to prevent anyone from taking and murdering her.

After a baby girl is born, IGP will “register” the little girl’s birth with the local hospital and with the government.  This not only legitimizes the baby girl’s birth, but it is also a deterrent to the families who may want to kill their daughters in the future.  In the event IGP finds that a family has murdered their baby girl, IGP pursues justice for the baby girl and files a criminal case against the perpetrator.  This is clearly the most dangerous and most culturally unpopular work IGP does.

In working to save and preserve a baby girl’s life, though, after a baby girl is born, IGP works with the family to ensure that the baby is growing and is healthy.  The social workers meet with the family at least twice a week, regularly weighing the baby girl, and providing vitamin “tonics” for the baby.

IGP also helps single mothers whose husbands have abandoned them for having a daughter.  IGP helps form coalitions for these mothers, so that the women are there to support each other emotionally and even financially.  Through these groups, IGP has helped village women to save money, using micro-finance initiatives, and even to start small businesses (such as raising goats).

Finally, IGP’s “Child Sponsorship Program” helps support the little girls it has rescued and their families.  IGP provides families with monthly food rations such as rice, lentils, and vegetables.  IGP also opens an interest-bearing savings account in the baby girl’s name, for her to use on expenses she has after the age of 18, (such as higher education, trade training, or wedding expenses—but not dowry).

Please help further this work!  Your support allows IGP to go into 30 new villages this year and rescue even more baby girls.

Please go to www.sevenly.org/InvisibleGirlProject and purchase a shirt to help SAVE THE LIFE OF A LITTLE GIRL IN INDIA today! 

And, visit IGP’s new website, www.InvisibleGirlProject.org for more info! 


“It’s a Girl”: Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

Pro-Life and Pro-ChoiceThe Atlantic just published a review of It’s a Girl titled “Neither Pro-Life Nor Pro-Choice Can Solve the Selective Abortion Crisis” by Noah Berlatsky.  It’s an excellent review that delves into some of the critical questions that must be addressed in order for the world to really see a global movement to end female gendercide.

Berlatsky accurately points out “In the United States, the discussion of sex selection and gendercide inevitably gets pulled into the gravitational pit that is the abortion debate.”

At nearly every Q & A we’ve done as part of the International Screening Tour of the film, the question of abortion rights comes up. Some accuse the film of being pro-life while others accuse it of being pro-choice. Each side is suspicious of the other, and a film that touches on sex-selective abortion seems to have left both liberals and conservatives hunting for a hidden agenda.

So for the record, let me say here what we have said repeatedly at events around the world. The It’s a Girl documentary and action campaign are opposed to sex selective abortion and forced abortion, but neither the film nor our action campaign take a stance on abortion in general. As those who have seen the film can attest, we have a laser sharp focus on these two issues (as well as the other forms of gendercide).

This focus is intentional and essential, because as demonstrated by our list of screening events, it has allowed organizations across the spectrum of abortion rights to join in this fight against gendercide. Leading pro-life and pro-choice organizations have hosted screenings of It’s a Girl. As an example, a pro-life student group in the UK is working to partner with feminist student groups to host screenings of It’s a Girl on university campuses.

We believe this is enormously significant. What other issue today can bring together pro-choice and pro-life organizations in a shared goal?

Gendercide is an area of common ground.  Just imagine the potential if both conservatives and liberals can embrace this reality and work together in opposition to such extreme violence and discrimination against women and girls.

The risk of course, is for one side or the other to hijack the issue. Let’s be honest, the idea of common ground on the abortion issue has historically been laughable. What issue is more divisive, especially in the US?

So here is our challenge to each side:

Pro-lifers: We call on you to genuinely oppose sex selective abortion and forced abortion, without trying to exploit the opportunity to push for further abortion restrictions. We are not asking you to give up your deeply held convictions, but we are asking that you honestly focus on these areas of common ground in a way that invites support from those with opposing views on abortion.

Pro-choicers: We call on you to acknowledge that your push for abortion rights has never been about the right to choose the gender of the fetus, and that forced abortion is certainly not a choice. Sex selective abortion and forced abortion are issues you can oppose with confidence, while still holding to your convictions about a women’s right to elective abortion. As champions of women’s rights, your silence on these issues is incredibly loud.

The Atlantic’s review ends with this:

From a pro-life perspective, you could condemn the use of abortion in China as a systematic government-sanctioned murder of children, especially girls. From a pro-choice perspective, you could condemn the way the government robs women of autonomy and choice, taking away their ability to make decisions about their own bodies and their own pregnancies. But really, it seems like It’s a Girl doesn’t buttress either pro-life or pro-choice—or, at least, doesn’t buttress one at the expense of another. Instead, the film shows that children’s rights rest upon women’s rights and that women’s rights, in turn, rest upon those of children. If women aren’t respected under the law, children won’t be, and if children aren’t, women won’t be either. That’s an insight, it seems, designed to make all sides in the abortion debate uncomfortable.

To this fair summary, I can only disagree with the closing statement, which also relates to the title of the review. It’s a Girl isn’t designed to make the two sides uncomfortable. Rather, it’s intended to move both sides to action!

Only pro-life and pro-choice together can solve the selective abortion crisis.

“It’s a Girl” Screenings at the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Next week, governmental leaders from around the world are meeting in New York for the United Nation’s Commission on the Status ofWomen (UNCSW). This is the primary policy-making body on the planet when it comes to gender equality and women’s rights.

The theme this year is the elimination of violence against women and girls, and so we’ve been working hard with our partners to see It’s a Girl included in the two week event (4-15 March).

Several screenings of It’s a Girl are planned for the week, and they are all open to the public, so if you’re in New York or know any representatives of your organization in the area, please help us spread the word!

Monday, March 4 – 6:15pm 

Drew Room, Ground Floor at the Church Center
Hosted by the World Youth Alliance – RSVP to advocacy@wya.net

Tuesday, March 5 – 10:30am 

TECO Auditorium, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center
Hosted by Women’s Rights Without Frontiers – No RSVP required
Producer Andrew Brown will participate in a panel following the screening.

Saturday, March 9 – 12:30pm

10th Floor at the Church Center
Hosted by the Endeavor Forum – No RSVP required

Producer Andrew Brown will also be participating in the CSW. If you or any representatives from your organization will be there next week, please let us know as we’d love to meet with you!

This is the highest profile event in the world on women’s rights, so we will be measuring its success on whether it moves governmental leaders to take meaningful action against female gendercide globally.

Join us in calling for action against gendercide by signing our petitions:

Take Action in India

Take Action in China

And stay tuned for more on the UNCSW in the weeks ahead!

Download PDF with Screening Details

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a screening of “It’s a Girl”

March 8th is International Women’s Day; a time of respect, appreciation and love towards women and a celebration of women’seconomic, political and social achievements around the world.
The It’s a Girl campaign is marking the occasion by inviting screening hosts all over the world to use this opportunity to raise awareness about the ongoing plight of women in India and China, who continue to suffer under gendercide.
Join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day by hosting a screening event in your community. Whether a small home screening, a gathering at your church or school, or a theater screening; you can add your voice to the movement.
Screening events on International Women’s Day are scheduled in Hyderabad, India, Texas, Canada, Singapore, Oregon, California, New Jersey and Australia, to name a few. Individuals, churches, universities and organizations like UN Women are raising awareness about the plight of women in India and China through screening It’s a Girl to mark this international celebration of women.
Schedule your screening of It’s a Girl between March 1st and the 15th and receive a special International Women’s Day discount! But March is quickly approaching, so submit your screening request soon!

Together, we can show the women of India and China that we support their right to dignity and equality.


There is Hope for Women in India

Sometimes the volume of stories about violence against women and gendercide coming out of India can be overwhelming and the cause can feel hopeless. But there is good news as well! Here is a great example of some in India who are overcoming the cultural norms of son-preference and are bringing change!

Dr Ganesh RakhA doctor in the Hadapsar suburb of Pune began waiving maternity fees for women who have girls. Dr Ganesh Rakh has not only waived  the fees for over 144 women to date, but the entire hospital celebrates the birth of the girl child by distributing sweets in the hospital!

Dr Rakh’s silent efforts and persistence has won over other doctors as well, who have decided to join hands with him. Dr Rakh said, “After the word trickled out, my batch-mates and doctors working in districts like Beed, Ahmednagar, Solapur and other interiors wrote to me and said that they will stop carrying out procedures like indiscriminate sex-determination tests or unwarranted medical termination of pregnancy. And the numbers of doctors in this long haul is growing every day.”

We celebrate silent heroes like Dr Ganesh Rakh who take the lead in creating a new future for girls in India despite immense pressures and financial incentives!

Show your love to a girl in India this Valentine’s Day

A right wing Hindu group in India, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, is claiming that Valentine’s Day encourages rape and plans to protest the holiday. In the past, Indian girlHindu radicals kept vigil at parks, restaurants and other places, and occasionally went on the rampage, attacking pubs and greeting card shops, but they vow to raise awareness peaceably this year.

At the same time women in India are using the day to promote awareness about women’s issues. Women throughout India are rising up in dance and demonstration as a part of the worldwide One Billion Rising movement against rape and rape culture.

As we celebrate a day that represents the freedom to love whom we choose, let’s remember the millions of girls in India who are denied the same freedom; girls who are given as child brides and are trapped in marriages characterized by violence rather than romance. In India, 56% of women are given in marriage before the age of 18. Forty percent of the world’s child marriages occur in India. Young girls are more likely to die during pregnancy or child birth, which accounts for India having the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

The Invisible Girl Project is working in India to raise awareness and save girls from gendercide. As you choose your Valentine this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to send your love to a girl in India by giving to Invisible Girl Project.

The Three Deadliest Words: “It’s a Girl” – TED talk by Evan Grae Davis

ted logo11-300x162
In December, It’s a Girl Director, Evan Grae Davis appeared on the TEDx stage at TEDxGateway in Mumbai, India, the largest TEDx event in South Asia. Evan addressed 1000 leaders and influencers from the region about the film and the issue of gendercide. We are excited to announce that the video of Evan’s TEDx talk is now available!

TED is a non-profit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. TED was founded on the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. Since it started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design, TED has increased it’s scope to encompass social issues and human rights concerns. TED’s famous conferences have now expanded to allow local organizers to host independent TED events under the banner of TEDx.

Speaking at a TEDx event is a rare opportunity and an exceptional environment in which to raise awareness about It’s a Girl and the issue of gendercide. And TEDx speaker videos gain wide exposure, so please watch and share to help spread the important message about gendercide through this unusual tool.

See the video here:

Delhi Gang Rape: “Eve-Teasing” Justification Trumps Justice

As India grieves the death of the young medical student who was brutally gang raped on a moving bus December 16th, 2012, a historic movement continues to develop demanding justice and action from the government. But leaders and legislators have come across as indifferent, unresponsive and out of touch with the reality of violence against women as thousands turn out to demonstrate and march in the streets of Delhi. “The incident has raised the issue of declining public confidence in the law and order machinery in the city,” a National Human Rights Commission statement said. “Especially, in its capacity to ensure safety of women as a number of such incidents have been reported in the national capital in the recent past.”

Groping and sexual harassment of women is often referred to as “eve-teasing” and is attributed to the natural response of men to the behavior of women.

Is Gendercide a Concern in America?

There are an estimated 200 million ‘missing’ women in the world today. Although a large percentage of these cases occur in Southeast Asia, namely in China and India, son preference is not uncommon in Europe and is a growing problem in the U.S., where a number of reports attest that, yes, Americans too have aborted thousands of babies simply because they are girls.

Abortions based on gender are currently legal in the U.S., eventhough 86% of Americans are opposed to the practice according to a 2006 Zogby International Poll.