20 September 2010
two young girls smiling

Qutub Jenan Kidwai | Asia

In honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace, URI Regional Coordinator for West India, Qutub Jehan Kidwai, is calling for a ceasefire of an unusual kind: an end to female infanticide. For centuries, the practice of killing unwanted girl babies has been commonplace in India, especially in poor areas where the tradition of dowries makes girls a financial burden on struggling families. In recent years, with increasing availability of ultrasounds and selective abortion, India’s female-to-male ratio has plummeted to just 896 girl babies for every 1000 boys. Although state and national governments have made efforts to stem both practices, they continue to be so widespread that just this year one village in Rajasthan, India’s largest state, celebrated a girl’s wedding for the first time in 110 years. On September 21, Qutub and a coalition of CCs from Western India will launch a poster campaign to put the spotlight on this human tragedy and challenge the social acceptance that allows it to persist.