SAVE GIRLS, EDUCATE GIRLS
Save Girls is a campaign in India to end the gender-selective abortion of female foetus (female foeticide). Female Foeticide is an act of killing a female foetus outside of the legal channels of abortion. It occurs in India and many other parts of the world for assumed cultural reasons that span centuries. Female foeticide has led to a sharp drop in the ratio of girls born in contrast to boy infants in some states in India. Discrimination against girl infants, for several reasons, has combined with the technology to result in a rise in abortions of foetuses identified as female during ultrasonic testing.
In traditional Indian culture, sons are looked upon as assets - breadwinners and caretakers of their parents in their old age. In many sections of the society, parents feel that daughters are “paraya dhan” or that they would go away after marriage. In many sections of the society, girls are regarded as a liability because parents have to give a dowry when she marries. Studies show that since ultrasounds made sex determination possible, as many as 12 million girls may have been aborted during the past four decades in India. It is a collective responsibility of everybody to wake the society up to realize the responsibility. It is due to family and societal pressure that girls are killed in the womb.
The law of the land makes it clear that both boys and girls have an equal opportunity to attend school from the age of six through fourteen, and that primary education is a fundamental right (Indian Constitution, Art 21). Girls are not receiving equal access to primary education in rural India and therefore are not achieving equality.
While girls’ education has received some attention as a result of global advocacy, a wider view of education is needed and should undoubtedly include the physical, social and political circumstances in which girls are living. India has 3.8 million girls still out of school. Unsafe and ill-equipped school environments are a further deterrent for parents to send their girls to school.
India is also home to one-third of the 10 million child brides in the world. When girls are forced to marry at as early age as 14 years and younger, they are physically, economically and sexually bound to strangers they have never seen. They have no voice or say in the matter, no negotiating power, and no rights of refusal or choice in their sexual relations with their new husband.
If the girls in educationally backward districts are educated now, they will have the potential to enter the formal economy, gain employment and lift their families out of poverty.
By empowering village communities to improve the quality of girls' education and infrastructure in at the local level, more girls can be educated on a larger scale. If more girls are educated, then their health, income levels and overall livelihoods improve, bringing about social transformation.
If girls get the chance, they perform par with or even better than boys.”