Added: Breona Finlayson - Date: 24.11.2021 12:54 - Views: 48666 - Clicks: 5253
Story March 28, Due to cultural preferences for sons, million girls are missing worldwide. Carl Gierstorfer Selvi holds her tiny baby girl somewhat clumsily in her arms.
She carefully strokes the thin legs of the helpless creature and pulls a soft white blanket over her body. There is a sense of disbelief in Selvi's face.
If her husband had his way, the little girl would have never been born. He simply did not want a girl. He and his mother tried to push Selvi into having an ultrasound scan to reveal the sex of the. Even though sex-selective screening is against the law in India, every year thousands of fetuses are aborted for being female.
Indian society wants sons, heirs to the family name and its fortunes, somebody to look after the parents when they are old. Girls are a financial burden, their future marriages clouded by dowry payments that ruin families for decades. Having a girl, an Indian proverb says, is like watering your neighbor's garden. But now, the first cracks are appearing in the sexist system.
Selvi who asked that her real name not be used was born and raised in Dharavi, a sprawling slum in the heart of Mumbai. Dharavi is like a petri-dish culturing India's future from a disorientating variety of traditions and beliefs. What unites the one million people who live in Dharavi's impenetrable maze of dark alleys is the ambition for a better future. If not for them, then for their children.
Selvi deeply believes that this future is for boys and for girls. He beat her, kicked her in the stomach, forced her to do hard labor. Anything that would make Selvi lose the unwanted baby girl. She resisted and filed a police complaint against her husband. Then she moved back in with her parents and sought help from Nayreen Daruwallah, a doctor of social psychology who runs SNEHA, a nonprofit that fights violence against women and children. SNEHA works out of Dharavi's local hospital; its offices betray a constant struggle for funding, which is offset by the dedication of its staff.
Selvi is just one of dozens of cases that arrive at SNEHA for help, some of them are no less savage than the Delhi rape case, that has woken up the whole nation.
They threw the year-old into the gutter, where she was left to die. The parents refrained from filing a case against the men who killed their. Even though Indian law in theory punishes assault, rape and female feticide, it is rarely enforced. Women who have been raped are often told by police that they must have provoked the man to end up in such a situation. Add corruption and a judiciary that moves at a glacial speed it is hardly surprising that violence against women is still so common in India. They are now mastering up the courage to talk about what is happening to them.
Only in this respect the Delhi rape case was unique, a genuine watershed moment. Now, women from all strata of Indian society feel encouraged to raise the issues of abuse, violence, and a skewed sexual morality. So Sunita decided to run away with the boy from next door.
Well, the downside was of course, that I had to marry the runaway," she adds with a smile. He at least did not abuse her.
SNEHA has managed to establish a lose network of activists who work together to confront the multitude of problems Dharavi's women face. In a society with rigid morals, girls are not just a financial burden. Many fathers are worried that their daughters might become victims of sexual abuse, which will taint the family's honor.
So they marry off their girls as early as possible, which again makes them vulnerable to abuse. Sex education is unheard of in Dharavi. Until recently, it was unthinkable for a woman to refuse her husband's sexual advances. Now, more and more women in Dharavi dare to raise their voices, even if they risk alienating the men. Selvi is ready to forgive. It is our society that has made him like that.
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Translate with Google. Carl Gierstorfer Grantee. Project India: No Girls for the Boys. Selvi's baby girl, taken when she was only a couple of weeks old. The father of the child did not want to have her, as girls are sometimes not welcome in India's patriarchal society. Image by Carl Gierstorfer. India, Sunita right regularly meets with other women in the slum.
Only recently have they begun talking about the violence they encounter and the problems they have. March 13, March 6, Issue Women. Issue Children and Youth.Need india sex women
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