I don't know this young woman, but I can tell you about her.
She lives in India. She's female. That means a lot of things.
She's a survivor, for one. Gendercide of the unborn is a huge problem in India. Parents who learn they are expecting baby girls are aborting them at an alarming rate. The reason? They're daughters, not sons. This has become such a problem that there are now laws in India against parents utilizing ultrasound technology to learn the sex of their unborn children. This is an important part of the journey for expectant parents in the US- couples even have parties for their friends and family where they reveal the gender of their baby in clever ways, like cutting into a cake to reveal a pink or blue confection inside. Despite the laws that are in place to protect baby girls from sex-selective abortion, these laws are often not upheld, and on average, one unborn baby girl is aborted in India every minute.
Not only has she survived the womb- she survived babyhood as well. The mortality rate for girls aged 1-5 is 75% higher than little boys. This cannot be a coincidence.
This young woman has faced risk all her life. Because of the gap between the number of men and women in India (a result of the sex-specific abortions and infanticides), instances of violence against women in India have multiplied rapidly in recent years. It seems we can't go a few weeks without reading a news story about India- gang rapes, kidnappings, child marriage....this is what happens in a society where girls are devalued. Girls and young women are sold into sex slavery. They are kidnapped and forced to marry men who don't have wives because there are no women in their villages.
And just because she has made it this far doesn't mean she's not still at risk. Dowries are illegal in India, but they are still expected in many areas. This means daughters are expensive to their families. And if the dowry is considered insufficient by the groom's family, the bride may be abused or killed. After the wedding, if she fails to produce a son, she may be abused or killed.
Girls in India face an extreme and horrifying prejudice. Society tells them that they are worthless because of their gender, that they lack basic human rights like protection from sexual violence and abuse. But you can help change that. You can let a girl in India know that she has value and worth, that she is loved. You can help her reach her full potential by helping her receive an education, healthcare, and protection. You can change her world. Please consider sponsoring a girl in India today.
Jhansi is 5 years old. Her birthday is November 11.
Sayamma is 9 years old. Her birthday is March 14.
Aaishwarya is 9 years old. Her birthday is June 1. She has been waiting 411 days for a sponsor.
Pratiksha is 9 years old. Her birthday is December 20.
Manju is 15 years old. Her birthday is September 27.