A Report On The State Of India’s Girls
The 7th billionth baby born on earth, was born in India. Her name is Nargis, and you see her in this photo here. What sort of a life awaits Nargis in India?
According to this 2011 report on global gender equality, India is one of the worst countries in the globe for women, ranking at 129 out of the 146 countries in this survey. In fact in Asia, there is only one country that is worse for women than India – and that is Afghanistan!
So if India is no country for women , what does it mean to be born a girl here?
For Children’s Day (November 14) The 50 Million Missing Campaign brings you the following Report on The State of India’s Little Girls: (click on the links for more information).
90% of abandoned children in India are girls who were discarded by their parents who did not want daughters. There are about 10 million abandoned girls in India.
- 25 million girls in India are married off before the age of 10, according to Unicef. India accounts for 1/3 of the worlds ‘child brides.’ Almost 50% of girls in India are married under the legal age, a rate higher than even other poorer countries in Asia or Africa. Because they are children, these girls are also most at risk for domestic and sexual violence.
- There are 300,000 married teenage mothers in India according to the government census who have already had 2 children by the age of 15. India has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, and this is the age group that is most vulnerable, since their bodies are not able to cope with the rigors of reproduction.
- Literacy rates for girls is 54% while that for boys is 75%
- India is now the world’s ‘hub’ for child prostitution and child sex-trafficking. According to reports filed with the Supreme Court about 40 minor girls under the age of 15 are forced into prostitution every day!
- The group with the highest HIV infection rates in India are girls who are under 18 years.
- 53.22% of children in India have experienced some sexual abuse; 22% of them extreme forms of sexual violence.
- Up to 5 years of age, girls in India have a 40% higher mortality rate than boys the same age. Studies conclude that this is because the parents deliberately starve them or don’t give them medical care when they need it, because they don’t think a girl is worth it! Due to chronic malnutrition about 90% of girls in India are anemic.
- Almost 2 million girls between the ages of 1 day and 6 years were battered to death by their families, over a 20 year period, only they because they were girls. The research concluded that if they were “lucky” enough to be born as boys they would not be beaten or killed.
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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Subir Basak is a member of The 50 Million Missing Campaign’s Photographers’ Group which is supported by more than 2400 photographers. To see more of his works click here .