SAGE addresses issues of Gender in SE Asia

Expecting mothers are living in fear of having a daughter. Many Southeastern Asian women face this issue, which is evident in the documentary “It’s A Girl.”

Students Advocating of Gender Equality (SAGE) hosted the film, which was shown April 18 in Graf 100.

“It’s A Girl” focused on female gendercide in India and China. Many newborns are killed if they are girls and kept if they are boys.

Surviving girls are often abused  and neglected and girls under the age of 5 have a high mortality rate. One in four girls do not live past puberty.

In India, 100,000 women  are murdered annually because they did not give birth to a boy or their husbands were not satisfied with the dowry. Courts often ignore dowry crimes and crimes against women.

In 1979, the Chinese government enacted  a policy that allowed a couple to have only one child. Rural families were able to have a second child only if their first was a girl.

The Chinese family planning police actually enforces the once child policy, and anyone can report on anyone. The family planning police take the women who are ‘illegally’ pregnant and force them to have an abortion.

These women are also fined 10,000 Yuan ($1,500 U.S.). In the ’80s, parents were denied 10 percent of their income for 14 years. Many people tried to go into hiding to have their ‘illegal’ baby.

In China, there are 13 million abortions per year and 500 women commit suicide per day.

Gendercide has increased sex trafficking, child trafficking and prostitution.

Some young girls are kidnapped by families to become the wives of their sons. Hundreds of thousands of baby girls are orphaned or abandoned each year.

“I am at a loss for words. I had no idea about the dowry system, and I didn’t know a lot about gender issues and women killing kids,” sophomore Alex Lazar said.

Visit and search female gendercide to sign a petition that encourages leaders across the world to address this issue.

Kiera Downs/Copy editor

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