Why aren’t girls valued in India? Families are expected to pay a dowry of expensive gifts or money when a daughter marries. This can leave a poor family drowning in debt for years. (Dowry is technically outlawed, but still practiced widely.)
And families expect sons to provide for them. That means parents want to have sons to take care of them when they get older. Girls, on the other hand, are seen as disposable.
Being “unwanted” – All over India, there are fewer girls than boys. In India’s capital city—Delhi—there are only 866 females for every 1,000 males.* Why? Because babies are killed for the “crime” of being girls. Many little girls grow up being told they are a burden, and some are even named “Unwanted.”
Abortion/Infanticide – In India, moms face pressure to kill their daughters. If an ultrasound (technically illegal in India) reveals that the baby is a girl, many times parents try to poison her before she is born. If the abortion is unsuccessful, the baby may be murdered as an infant or toddler. (See video at the bottom of this post to meet a family affected by female infanticide.)
Having an older sister – If a woman has already given birth to a daughter, there is increased pressure (sometimes from her own husband, family, and/or community) to kill a second, third, fourth, etc. daughter. Many baby girls are killed because of this intense social pressure.
A generational cycle of oppression – If girls survive and go on to give birth to their own children, their own daughters are in danger. They are seen as unwanted burdens in their families … and the cycle continues.
We can bring the Gospel to the darkest corners of India—where girls are seen as nothing more than a burden. Right now, India does not value girls. When will this change? When India is transformed by Christ.
Mission India’s Children’s Bible Clubs, Adult Literacy Classes, and Church Planters are helping meet the deepest needs of India’s girls—to know that they are loved and valued.
*2011 India Census