It's a girl!
A summary of the female infanticide forum.
There was a grave below her feet and a smile on her face. Her weapons were relatively harmless: her hands, at times, but usually a dishtowel that had dried plates just minutes before. She folds it, let’s the child breath in the cloth, and then carries it to its waiting grave. She has done this eight times, but all for one reason: because her baby has been a girl.
On March 13, It’s A Girl shocked its Trinity Western audience with the reality of female infanticide and foeticide. Hosted by TWU Students for Life and guest speaker Mark Warawa, the event raised awareness on the current 200 million girls missing worldwide due to the practice. Sex selection largely occurs for cultural and economic reasons; boys carry the family name and income, whereas girls are given away in marriage and cost the family expensive dowries.
The film focused on the two countries where gendercide is the most prevalent – India and China. One of the countries seems to be suffering from a lax justice system, whereas overtly strict laws pain the other. In India, the appropriate laws are in place: dowries are outlawed, sex determination tests are illegal, and civil rights are written in stone. However, the government is plagued with complacency as none of the laws are appropriately enforced.
We meet a character whose life, and children’s lives, are put in danger due to this apathy. After continually refusing a sex determination test of her twins, Mitu Khurana is poisoned by her mother-in-law and husband in order to be forcibly taken to a hospital. While there, a bribed doctor reveals that Khurana is carrying not only one but two girls. She stands courageous in the face of pressure to have an abortion; but her husband tries to kill her strength and her children by throwing her down the stairs.
Although she escaped that situation, she continues to hold onto it as it fuels her fight against female infanticide and foeticide. She has protested against the government and tried to talk with politicians, ministers, and the PM himself about this miscarriage of justice; their only response has been a frustrating silence.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring China, the situation is under control—too much control. The one-child policy means forced abortions and forced sterilizations for those who are pregnant with their second child. As with India, many would prefer a boy for economic and cultural reasons, but unlike India, they have only one chance at “getting it right”. This leads to abandonments, an increase in human trafficking, and the staggering statistic that one in four girls will not make it to adolescence.
After sitting through an hour of horrifying images and attitudes, former Trinity student and current MP Mark Warawa took the stage. A self-declared human rights activist, Warawa says he was called to do something about sex selective abortions after seeing a CBC special about its prevalence in Canada. He is currently trying to push his motion M-408 through the House of Commons in an effort to fight this ‘hidden holocaust’. M-408 states “that the house condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”
However, he is meeting some of the same attitudes in our government that Mitu Khurana is facing within the Indian government. Politicians are currently relatively silent on the topic; hesitant to acknowledge it and re-open the entire abortion debate. So now, Warawa is turning to the public to get support, something stats say 92% of Canadians agree on outlawing. “I can’t think of much else 92% of Canadians agree on!” He joked, somewhat seriously. But he kept the perspective of the issue, saying, “it is not a Canadian, Asian, Indian, or Chinese issue. It’s a global issue.”
Traveling to different universities, Warawa is trying to stir a movement at the grassroots level. He is encouraging students to write to the PM (pm.@pm.gc.ca), call Harper’s office, start a trend on social media (#M408), or show a screening of the documentary in order to create a change.
Warawa ended encouraging our generation that the catalyst for action lies within us. “You are the ones who can change the world.”