Over 50,000 baby girls are aborted every month in South Asia – just because they were girls – Gospel for Asia
According to writer and gender-activist Rita Banerji, “Females are being killed in India at every stage of life, before and after birth, only because they are female” It has been said that the three deadliest words in the world are “It’s a girl”. The birth of a girl is not celebrated. It leads to infanticide or trafficking.
UNICEF states that the killing of baby girls has reached genocidal proportions. It is a practice that has gone on “in central India for a long time, where mothers were made to feed the child with salt to kill the girl.” Various other gruesome methods of murder are employed, many dating back to the 18th Century: stuffing the baby girl’s mouth with a few grains of coarse paddy causing the child to choke to death is one, poisoning, using organic or inorganic chemicals, drowning, suffocation, starvation and breaking the spinal cord, as well as burying the child alive.
What possible reasons could families have for murdering their baby girls?
- Extreme poverty. The inability to afford raising a child.
- The dowry system. This practice was supposed to have been abolished but it still exists. Poorer families in rural regions fear being unable to raise a suitable dowry and being socially ostracised.
- Children conceived from rape
- Deformed children born to impoverished families
- Unmarried mothers not having reliable, safe and affordable birth control
- Relationship difficulties
- Low income
- Lack of support coupled with postpartum depression
A girl is seen as an economic burden to her family–an unwanted expense while the boy is seen as their source of income. What about the women who have generated income for their families through the use of a sewing machine? Girls can be and are sources of income for their families. All they need is to be given the opportunities.
The girls are murdered for two reasons–the dowry, as mentioned earlier and the unwillingness of their families to marry them to men from a rival caste/tribe. Parents would rather murder their daughter than to allow her to marry someone from a lower caste. And the girls who survive are mistreated and neglected. They are unloved, uneducated and kept at home where they are forced to do household chores. For them the future is bleak and hopeless.
From the time they are born, South Asian women face pain, rejection, cruelty, suffering and discrimination. The Veil of Tears: Hope is on the Way is a documentary film which gives us a glimpse into the lives and hearts of these women for whom adversity is the norm. Take a look at the behind scenes video of “Veil of Tears: Hope is on the Way”.
I was deeply affected when Natalie Grant shared what she saw when she went to the Red Light District in Mumbai. Little girls as young as 5 were for sale. She and her husband had an opportunity to tour a brothel where they saw tiny rooms with beds lined up and one of them had a rope tied at the end of it. At first she was hesitant to ask about this but when she did, she was told that there was no daycare . These were working women but there was no where for them to drop off their children. “This woman has her 18 month old daughter that she tetters to the end of the bed while she’s forced to work so that she knows where she is. These are the things my husband and I say wrecked us for life” As a mother, can you imagine working in a brothel and having your child right there in the room with you? Yet, women are forced to turn to prostitution i order to take care of their children. And there is no one who will take care of their children while they work.
On CBN, Natalie shared another heartbreaking story, “I was walking down the street in Mumbai, in broad daylight, when my eyes locked on a little girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old, peering out of a cage, looking at us on the street below. It was beyond my imagination. I’ll never forget that moment. That was her life. Every day people walked by, and they didn’t even notice her.”
Can you imagine you or your daughter being kept in a cage like an animal and people are just walking by as this is nothing out of the ordinary?
When we see how these girls and women are treated by society, we realize that the problems we face are nothing compared to what they have had to endure. This why God has brought their stories to our awareness so that we can tell others. We can be the voice of the voiceless.
“Veil of Tears” tells the stories of women who are just like every other woman in the world, except that these women are brutalized, they’re despised, they’re persecuted culturally, simply because they are women and this has been going on for generations – Kenny Saylors
Thankfully, there is hope.
…God is restoring dignity to the women who have been utterly just downtrodden – Kyle Saylors
And God is not just changing their hearts, He’s changing their lives. He’s changing their everyday lives – Kenny Saylors
We can bring hope to the girls and women of South Asia–the hope they can find only in Jesus by supporting the Veil of Tears film. Here are ways you can make a difference. Take action today. Get the word out about the plight of women in Asia.
The most overwhelming part of the whole trip was visiting a village and seeing women who had been restored and seeing what true hope actually does in the life of someone that it actually can make them new, that no matter how broken, no matter how desolate, there is still hope – Natalie Grant
Sources: Gospel for Asia; World and Media; Wikipedia; Counterpunch