Jump directly to the content
The Holocaust Happening Right Under Our Noses

The Holocaust Happening Right Under Our Noses


Oct 26 2012
In some countries, hearing "It's a girl" is no cause for celebration—it's a death sentence. A new film captures global gendercide.

A burial mound in Tamil Nadu, India, holds the bodies of eight infant girls. Each of them was strangled at birth by their mother, who desperately wanted a son—so much so that she was willing to kill until she finally got one.

"Why keep girls when keeping them would be difficult?" the mother asks plainly.

Like a punch in the face, this is the opening scene of It's a Girl, a new documentary about a modern-day holocaust happening right under our noses. Shot on location in India and China by Shadowline Films, the hour-long film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters' lives, and even of mothers who would kill for a son.

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. It's a Girl, released last month, examines why girls are being annihilated at a rate that has skewed the sex ratio to biologically unsustainable levels in many parts of the world. Using a blend of hand-drawn animations and first-person interviews with mothers and fathers, doctors and demographers, activists and advocates for human rights, It's a Girl provides an excellent primer on the range and scope of gender injustice against girls.

Gendercide occurs most commonly through sex-selective abortion. Ultrasound technology has made it easy and cheap to determine the gender of an unborn child, thus ramping up the number of girls systematically exterminated before birth. Although India has laws against using ultrasound to discover the baby's sex, these laws do little to sway the deeply ingrained cultural bias for boys. Added to the centuries-old tradition of son preference are government mandates, like China's one-child policy, which has accelerated the elimination of girls.

Mark Shan, an analyst with Women's Rights Without Borders, describes in the film how the Chinese government boasts that the one-child policy has prevented more than 400 million births since it was instituted 32 years ago. That's 35,000 abortions a day—1,500 per hour—and many of these are forced abortions up to the ninth month, according to Reggie Littlejohn, president of the group Women's Rights Without Borders.

Evan Grae Davis didn't set out to make a film about gendercide. Originally the director and his production company were exploring the underlying roots of social injustices like gender inequality and the exploitation of the innocent. After researching human rights abuses across five continents, the team arrived in India, where they encountered a shocking reality.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?

After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?

I equip my daughters to protect themselves and their bodies in ways I didn’t learn to.
Too Many Transitions Can Traumatize Our Kids

Too Many Transitions Can Traumatize Our Kids

I know from experience what happens when children face moving, divorce, or other stressful life change—and how we can help them.
The 5 Truths Stay-at-Home and Working Moms Can Agree On

The 5 Truths Stay-at-Home and Working Moms Can Agree On

After interviewing 120 women, I saw glimmers of a truce in the Mommy Wars.
The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness

The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness

God sees me and my pain even when others cannot.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness

God sees me and my pain even when others cannot.

Follow Us

Twitter

  • RT @RealPeopleAct: The more we learn about porn, the more we discover how bad it is for our brains, our bodies, and our relationships. http2026
  • RT @mfarrellgarcia: After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids? https://t.co/yVTZOmLKNc via @CT_Women
  • Researcher @hgscott talks about the widespread effects of Internet porn https://t.co/OkRrIc78rG
  • Protecting our kids and loving our neighbors @JustinHolcomb @drmoore @mfarrellgarcia https://t.co/708pIr3j79
  • RT @denverseminary: Super proud of Katie Jo, a current student, sharing about living with w/ an autoimmune disease over on @CTmagazine htt2026


What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
The Holocaust Happening Right Under Our Noses