9.12.2011

The Consequences of a World With Fewer Girls

Family restoration involves protecting the most vulnerable members of families. Around the globe today, girls are devalued to such an extreme that they are subject to terrible horrors never before imagined.

In many parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide.” (See Marie VlachovĂ  and Lea Biason, Lea, Eds. (2004) Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women - Facts, Figures and Analysis. Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.)

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members. The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls. This blog has discusssed these concerns before. (See the post here.)

A new film to be released in 2012 shot on location in India and China, It’s a Girl! explores these issues, asking why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls and women. They call "It's a girl" the three deadliest words in the world.

The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters’ lives, and of other mothers who would kill for a son. Global experts and grassroots activists put the stories in context and advocate different paths towards change, while collectively lamenting the lack of any truly effective action against this injustice. See more about this film at http://itsagirlmovie.com//,

The law can respond to trafficking of girls with justice. In fact, the first man to be convicted of trafficking females out of the UK, in a case involving two Nigerian girls, was jailed for 20 years this past summer. See the article "Man jailed for trafficking girls" from BBC.com. This is just a beginning of protecting girls.

Families are not possible without girls, and family restoration will be impossible if peoples and nations around the globe fail to recognize the consequences of a world with fewer girls.

1 comment:

  1. The attitude of valuing sons more than daughters is nothing new, but unless I am mistaken, the cultural importance of having sons could not wreak much havoc in ancient days, as for any boy, there was always a girl waiting.

    But if we are systematically aborting girls, and if cultural mores make it palatable, if not permissible, to kill newborn girls, then there will be a gender imbalance.

    We do not even need to think in terms of a world with no girls: there are statistics out there regarding what the consequences are of a world without enough girls for all the boys.

    From allgirlsallowed.org (a website focusing on the results of China's One-Child policy):

    "It was found that sex ratios and crime rate were connected, with just a one percent increase in sex ratio leading to a five percent increase in crime rate.

    "A study concluded that increased sex ratios are correlated with increased bride abduction, trafficking of women, rape and prostitution.

    "Unmarried men between the ages of 24 and 35 are also found to be three times more likely to murder than their married counterparts.

    "China’s gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery, not only in China, but all over Asia. According to a statement by the United States Department of State, “Women and children are trafficked into [China] from North Korea, Vietnam, Burma, Mongolia and Thailand.” These women are trafficked into China and forced into marriages, employment, and sexual exploitation.

    "Many unattached men migrate from rural areas to urban destinations, patronizing prostitutes there. In doing so, these men could turn China's HIV epidemic - now confined to certain high-risk populations - into a more generalized one by creating "bridging" populations from high- to low-risk individuals. Such male bridging populations have fueled HIV epidemics in Cambodia and sub-Saharan Africa.

    "The tensions associated with so many bachelors in China's big cities might tempt its future leaders to mobilize this excess manpower and go pick a fight, or invade another country. China is already co-opting poor unmarried young men into the People's Liberation Army and the paramilitary People's Armed Police.

    "According to German scholar Gunnar Heinsohn, European imperial expansion after 1500 was the result of a male “youth bulge.” Japan’s imperial expansion after 1914 was the result of a similar male youth bulge. During the Cold War, it was male youth-bulge countries—Algeria, El Salvador, and Lebanon—that saw the worst civil wars and revolutions. Heinsohn has also linked the recent rise of Islamist extremism in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan to an Islamic male youth bulge.

    "Political scientists Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer warn that China and India could be the next countries that, as a result of a surplus of men, will see increased violence and extremism."

    Read more: http://www.allgirlsallowed.org/gender-imbalance-china-statistics#ixzz1dFZQygXe

    However, what is needed is not merely good laws--though that is a start. What we need just as much as we need good laws are good people who will take these two basic facts to heart: First, that all people, boys and girls, are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and thus have a purpose. (See Psalm 139.) Second, that God explicitly said that it is not good for the man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18)

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