Updated: July 29, 2013 05:22 PM GMT
File picture: Wikimedia Commons
The United Nations estimates that as many as 200 million girls are missing today, the majority from India and China. What are the cultural patterns and individual stories behind this shocking statistic? Evan Grae Davis, an American who has extensive experience in the developing world, has produced a documentary film that answers this question through the mouths of women immersed in these cultures and activists who are campaigning for them. In this email interview with MercatorNet he explained how he came to make the film and what needs to happen next.
MercatorNet: This is a very harrowing film. How did you come to make it?
Evan Grae Davis: I have spent the last nearly two decades travelling the world capturing stories of human need for humanitarian aid and development NGO's and non-profits. Throughout this time I witnessed a lot of injustice. I began asking the question, what are the cultural roots and mindsets that allow for human rights violations on the scale seen throughout the world today? I set out to explore this question through a documentary film. I and the team travelled to nine nations capturing stories for this film. One of the nations we visited was India, hoping to understand how the subjugation and devaluation of women could be justified by the deeply established son-preference culture.
What we discovered while filming in India about the epidemic of missing girls and dramatically skewed sex ratios and related abuse and neglect of girls was a game-changer for us. After hearing the UN statistic of as many as 200 million girls missing in the world today as a result of 'gendercide' we researched the issue in China, as well, and were completely astonished by how few people seemed to be aware of what appeared to be the greatest human rights issue of our time, and certainly the greatest form of violence against women in the world today.