India is one of the worst nations in the word for sex-selection abortions, infanticide and gendercide — the specific targeting of girl babies and unborn children specifically because they are females.
A new report shows just had bad this cultural preference for sons is in this Asian nation: one woman dies every hour in India over dowry disputes, despite the fact that Indian law prohibits the centuries-old custom of giving or receiving dowries.
From an AP report:
One woman dies every hour in India because of dowry-related crimes, indicating that the country’s economic boom has made demands for dowries even more persistent, women’s rights activists said.
The National Crime Records Bureau says 8,233 women were killed across India last year because of disputes over dowry payments given by the bride’s family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage.
The conviction rate in dowry-related crimes remained a low 32 percent, according to statistics the bureau published last week.
Indian law prohibits the giving or receiving of a dowry, but the centuries-old social custom persists.
Dowry demands often continue for years after the wedding. Each year, thousands of young Indian women are doused with gasoline and burned to death because the groom or his family felt the dowry was inadequate.
Women’s rights activists and police said that loopholes in dowry prevention laws, delays in prosecution and low conviction rates have led to a steady rise in dowry-related crimes.
Kristen Walker, in a post last year at LifeNews, talked about the importance of pro-lifers getting involved in the effort to protect girls from abortion and infanticide.
Reggie Littlejohn is busy. When we speak on the phone, she’s in the process of traveling through Washington, D.C., by train and on foot. At one point, her train goes underground and we’re cut off. Two weeks ago, we couldn’t speak because she was traveling in Europe.
Why is Reggie Littlejohn so busy? Because, as president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, she was involved in the documentary film It’s A Girl, which is being screened around the world as we speak. Recently, it was shown at the British Parliament and the European Parliament, to a diverse audience. “I think it’s pretty encouraging that the film was featured in the Amnesty International Film Festival just a few weeks ago,” says Littlejohn. “Amnesty International is not a pro-life organization.”
Littlejohn is also busy because her organization has launched a campaign that directly, literally saves baby girls. The Save A Girl campaign is one that anyone can get involved in, and it is an excellent way to give thanks for life this Thanksgiving season. The fact is, the multifarious crimes against women, girls, and the unborn in China and India explored in It’s A Girl – forced abortion, female feticide, infanticide, dowry death, and more – are not going away without help from people outside those countries. People like me. And you.
“India does not have a one-child policy,” Littlejohn explains. “India does not have a government-imposed birth limit. People are much freer in India to have a grassroots movement.” As the film explains, though, unfortunately, the culture in India – specifically the tradition of dowry –makes sons so preferred over daughters that deep cultural change will be needed to end crime against women and girls.