What if I told you there were millions of girls who were never given a chance to “lean in”? … Left out of the conversation. … Not invited to the table. What if I told you they were systematically being eliminated not only from the workforce but from life itself?
I didn’t believe it either, until a friend pointed me to a movie that sounds about as “girly” as one can get. “It’s a Girl.” Those are words usually met with joyous applause, right? Wrong. It’s a Girl is a film documenting how, in many parts of our world, those three words are a death sentence.
Concerned Women for America is made up of over 500,000 members, many of whom were shocked to hear — like you will be — that there are over 160 million missing girls in this world, missing just because they were born female. It is a sad reality, but in India, China, and many other parts of the world, girls are killed, aborted, and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates that as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of “gendercide,” the deliberate extermination of girls in favor of boys. This is the true “war on women” — a long war, rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by cultural and government policies that value little boys over little girls.
But thanks to the efforts of a coalition against gendercide, especially that of the newly released It’s a Girl movie and movement, we are no longer uninformed and unaware.
Did you know that India and China kill more females every year than the number of girls born in the U.S in a year? China also has the highest female suicide rate in the world, with over 500 women ending their lives every day in China according to the World Health Organization. We have a real human rights problem and are seeing the systematic elimination of women and girls. Concerned Women for America has and will call discrimination out when we see it. And if we do not join hands on this devastating issue and condemn the sex-selective practices in this world, we will fail future generations of mothers, sisters, teachers, doctors, and leaders.
It is because of this gendercide that we see, in countries like China and India, an unnatural ratio of men to women. There are 37 million more men than women in each of these countries today, leading to devastating societal consequences.
You can easily see how a rising population of frustrated single men spells trouble. We’ve seen an increase in the horrors of sex trafficking, forced marriages, and the kidnapping of women. This is all very, very real for women across those countries.
This is not a Left or Right issue; this is common ground. Even Hillary Clinton lamented the practice of sex selection in China and India. All of the talk of reaching across the aisle for positive change in this world can start right here on this issue. On Tuesday, April 23, members of Congress, led by Reps. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Jim McDermott (D-Washington) joined with the Coalition Against Gendercide to highlight this tragedy by screening It’s a Girl.
On April 24, I had the honor of speaking at the House Triangle before the coalition delivered hundreds of thousands of petitions addressed to China to the front door of the Chinese Embassy (petitions which the Chinese Embassy refused to receive, by the way).
So how can a girl “lean in” if she can’t even get out? Protecting a girl in the womb and at birth is the first chance at giving her a fighting chance in this world. Today, I challenge you to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. The film, It’s a Girl, is a great tool to help people understand why those are the three deadliest words to hear in many places today.
Encourage everyone you know to see it, and then take action to end this horrific practice.