An Indian proverb says raising a daughter is like watering your neighbour's garden and the burden of having girls means many are killed at birth. We follow the difficult lives of those who survive the practice.
Twenty Seven percent of Indians live below the poverty line and as a women, this economic status brings a life of enmity. A bride's parents must provide a dowry which often bankrupts the family. As a result female infanticide is a widespread tradition: “We accept the first girl, the second should be killed, then the third will be a son.” The girls that survive are usually forced to accept work, like breaking stones or temple prostitution to support their existence. But now the women are fighting back by forming self-help groups which offer a range of programmes from skills training, to saving and loan schemes. It's all in the hope that through giving women a more constructive role in society more girls will be saved. “With the support of the womens group I am confident I can raise my daughter”.
Marion Mayer Hohdahl