Girl Killers

2012 ,    » 42 Comments
Ratings: 7.99/10 from 126 users.

Nearly thirty percent of Indians live in poverty and for women this economic position brings a life of animosity. The parents of the bride must give a dowry which often renders them bankrupt. As a result female infanticide is a common and established practice. The girls that are not killed are practically enslaved, forced to break stones or sell their bodies to support their existence. But now the women are defending themselves by forming associations which offer help in education, savings and loan arrangements.

It's all done in ambition that through giving women more effective role in the society more girls will be rescued. The NGOs have been battling for more than 15 years against female infanticide in India's non-urban areas. In 80 villages, they have helped women to form groups that basically oversee homes where a birth is about to happen. Traditional healers know many different ways to kill a baby: feeding it with poisoned or very hot food, wrapping it in water-soaked cloths and placing it under a cooling fan, choking it with a pillow or simply letting it starve.

People accept the first girl, the second girl should be murdered, and then the third child is expected to be a son. People believed that women who only give birth to girls bring bad luck. The women's group is trying to explain to everyone that this is not true. But the reality is on public show in schools. There are more boys than girls, and that ratio is the same in all of India. In some areas, there are barely 700 girls for 1,000 boys. And many families don't even send their daughters to school in the first place.

After getting married, a daughter will leave her parents' house, and an education will probably not change that. The campaigns have put a stop to female infanticide in many villages. But there still are some isolated cases.

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42 Comments / User Reviews

  1. jaberwokky

    This doc is fairly upsetting to watch :-(

  2. bringmeredwine
  3. bringmeredwine

    CBC radio did a call -in show on this subject.
    To my horror and disbelief I heard a couple of different ultra sound techs from Toronto phoning in and admitting they were witnesses to what happened when expectant mothers from particular ethnic groups learned they were carrying a female fetus.
    The subject of an abortion had been hastily brought up, even by women who came to their appointments with out their male partners.
    They've also had women crying their eyes out because they knew their husbands would never permit their pregnancy to continue..
    I know people of this mindset are a very small minority here in Canada, but its still appalling to know this anti-female culture is possibly continued in our midst.

  4. gapa
  5. gapa

    this doc is fully fake.
    if there is such a thing happening then why there is no shortage of female in India.
    commonsense. thing about it.

  6. bringmeredwine
  7. bringmeredwine

    For me, the devadasi segment was especially hard to take. If more lower caste women unite and are determined to get their children educated, I think they will ultimately prevail.

  8. jaberwokky
  9. jaberwokky

    God I hope so. Watching this last night was harrowing, it left me with a sense of utter hopelessness and a bitter taste in my mouth. I know there has been increases in female unity at the city levels as a result of the horrendous rape ordeal (like the new Delhi bus rapists), its just sickening to think how many times something like this is allowed happen before women - who deserve so much better - are forced to such a stand. How long before women in some of those areas can gather enough support and courage to chance the same I wonder.

    I need a break from learning about the atrocities that man seems happy to indulge in :-/

  10. jaberwokky
  11. jaberwokky

    I'd be happier if this were the case but I don't think you are right. I've seen nothing whatsoever to convince me that it would be anything other than truthful.

  12. Candice Robertson
  13. Candice Robertson

    if there is fewer then 800 girls to every 1000 boys in India (of course this is a rounded number as they can't completely be sure of any numbers) then it's a shortage. When you conceive there is a 50/50 change of either sex.... if that's true then there should be the same amount of baby girls born then there is baby boys... This is not fact in India, as seen in the doc. You can't tell me that there isn't something going on.

  14. Gadea
  15. Gadea


    'City of Widows' - the Indian women relying on charity

    14 October 2013 Last updated at 08:25 BST

    India's elderly population is predicted to reach 300 million in the next 40 years, with many being widows whose children cannot afford to look after them.

    Thousands of these women have ended up in the 'City of Widows' - Vrindavan in northern India - where they rely on charity to survive.

    Shilpa Kannan reports.

  16. Ho Bo
  17. Ho Bo

    Maybe you don't know enough knowledge about the Indian culture and how dowry works. If you have a female child and she later marries a man, the family of the female child will have to give up a lot of money to the man's family. If the family is already poor and struggling to survive, this dowry is a huge financial burden they will have to think about throughout the child's life until she marries. Based on that, and also the belief that the simple existence of the female is a curse, it's possible that families can resort to killing in order to avoid the "burden". The documentary claims that for every 700 girls, there are 1000 boys. That's a 41% female to 59% boys ratio. Why is that such a hard thing to believe? Or to claim the documentary is fake because there's no shortage of females in India. It's a 9% drop in the female population than what would be expected. Are these numbers correct? I don't know, but it's plausible based on a simple understanding of the traditions in India. In modern times, I don't see a need for dowry, I see it as a burden for any poor, unprivileged family. Hopefully through education, old fashion thinking will pass.

  18. Candice Robertson
  19. Candice Robertson

    but you agree that there is a gap.. no matter how small? when i said 50/50 chance.. i meant there is a 50/50 chance at conception to get either sex.. which means that since we only have 2 genders and once pregnant a 100% chance on getting a baby, it's a 50/50 toss up on the gender. then with that logic there SHOULD be a approx. 50/50 ratio in the population. of course numbers are NEVER as exact as this. It's seen everywhere that some families are prone to birthing boys then girls and visa versa. there isn't enough girls to go around. CLEARLY. as you have stated with your numbers. so why isn't there a 50/50 split? where are these girls?
    if this doc is true.. I would have been the shame of my husband if i lived in india... I have more girls then boys. good thing i wasn't born there.

  20. shafawn
  21. shafawn

    I agree with you but I do not think this problem is being addressed
    because it is a form of population control very similar to the one being
    used in China. It isn't being addressed because their governments do
    not want it to change.

  22. Lauri Neva
  23. Lauri Neva

    What a backward society! I could not bare to watch this film, sorry! America is just as bad with abortion I guess. Jesus weeps!

  24. Rev Coughlin
  25. Rev Coughlin

    They make this system sound ancient when in fact it is only about 500 years old. In antiquity, women were never treated like this.

  26. Doris
  27. Doris

    I totally agree, what I don't get is why the men don't realize that it is the male that decides the sex of the child, not the woman, maybe they should start persecuting the men!!! Never happen, what a sorrowful situation and it will never change, too bad. I think it is total ignorance and disregard for human rights on the part of the men, or are they afraid, as many are, of the intelligence, resourcefulness and resolve of the women. Go for it girls :)

  28. Catherine Hays
  29. Catherine Hays

    The Rev Coughlin is right and I appreciate that he knows that (for example) India was not like this until it had been invaded by Muslims (for 1000 years) whose scribes (especially Ghazni's) gloated over the fact that they had destroyed the culture. The wealth plundered also - and btw, the British Crown Jewels were stolen from temples in India. India's had culture and fabulous wealth. Now both are nearly eradicated. Strange how westerners and western media are illiterate in terms of ancient cultures despite our so-called 'global village'.

  30. Catherine Hays
  31. Catherine Hays

    This doc is NOT fully fake, it is fully true. Anyone who has travelled to India can see many examples of women who have not even been fed enough food to 'grow' into womanhood. I saw a 'woman' who had been so deprived of food that she was the size of a child. She was also unable to relate to affection because her own parents had literally starved her of both food and affection. Westerners have no idea how it is in these countries. This is no 'fake' documentary.

  32. rishi
  33. rishi

    I am an indian, lived in india for 24 years of my life and now im in the US. i have not seen this documentary but just the title brought me to this page which means what this documentary says is all correct. It is very difficult to explain what india is like without actually living there. On the one hand there is a story of "Incredible India" with tremendous growth and such which is true but there is another side of india which lives in extreme poverty. Some people treat females this way in the name of "culture". I have a daughter myself and being from an urban part of india i dont see my daughter being treated that way. But then unless there is real economic growth and education in the villages of india there is little to be expected in terms of population control and female infanticide. One thing that all nations can learn from the US (and yes i am a patriotic indian, but US has given me a lot too) is how it treats its girl children.

  34. bringmeredwine
  35. bringmeredwine

    I know what you meant about the 50/50 thing.
    I'm really glad I was born in Canada.

  36. Maria Christine
  37. Maria Christine

    What are ways to help women in India?

  38. bringmeredwine
  39. bringmeredwine

    I'm having trouble with my computer today, hope this doesn't appear twice!
    You could try looking up, I am a girl. ca
    That might be a good place to start.

  40. His Forever
  41. His Forever

    One, stop paying a dowry entirely. You want to marry my daughter, fine. Don't? Fine. Your loss as there are more men than women to marry, it looks like they would be more valuable to marry eventually.

  42. Whattafella
  43. Whattafella

    Closing your eye in front of tiger doesnt mean its not there any more. Good and bad exists everywhere. Social problems! You cannot run away from it and neither you can live by just turning blind eye towards it as it will catch up with you too one day. Only thing we can do is to get united and stand against it. Educate people.

  44. Whattafella
  45. Whattafella

    Well Catherine you are right that its true but what its also true that many older folks in western world just die in their rooms and people only get to know either if they haven't seen the person for some time or when neighbors starts getting smell out of the flat. Because kids just move on with their busy life and parents are left to deal with their own problems. This is the life of modern world not restricting to any city. Unfortunately In India these elderly suffer because there you do not have respected state schools and good state medical so most of their money goes away on kids education and blah blah. Now with life expectancy going higher and higher, people only suffer when they have not planned for their older times. whether India or no India, life has become difficult for young families any where. So its becoming harder for them to put as much time towards their elders as used to happen few decades ago. Its not an excuse though. Also, bad kids can happen anywhere and with 1.2b population the probability of these selfish idiots becomes higher.

  46. Whattafella
  47. Whattafella

    Responsible politics, Education & Population Control - only thee 3 things can solve India's all the problems.

  48. Whattafella
  49. Whattafella

    Educate poor and rural Girl child. This is the biggest difference you can ever make.

  50. 2star2
  51. 2star2

    Absolute respect for those women for sticking together and working for a better future.

  52. Nikita Kade
  53. Nikita Kade

    The suffering of these women is unspeakable. To know this exists--as do the Warren Buffetts, Brad Pitts, and Madonnas of the world--and then to do nothing more than export children instead of GIVING MONEY to whole villages is a disgrace. If the top one per cent of the United States' moneyholders opened their purse strings without conditions, they would solve all the world's problems in five years. But it's always been that way. Always. At the very least, those of us who have only a dollar to give can give it, as I will. Thanks to the makers of this disturbing but wonderful doc.

  54. Ganesh
  55. Ganesh

    I do not like the way the translation made... when sundara selvi was speaking at 16:15 she says she is missing her family. not about dowry. I agreed there are infanticide at some parts of India for which most of NGO are fighting along with Government to eradicate these incidents. Please translate exact meaning .

  56. Ho Bo
  57. Ho Bo

    Both the Chinese and Indian cultural system value boys much greater than girls. So, population control is already embedded from one generation to the next in the form of misinformed thinking. In China there's a similar problem since each family are only allowed 1 child, the family will prefer a boy over a girl. That's why there's an overflow of abandoned / killed baby girls in China. Even with that thinking though, China and India have the highest population than any other country.

  58. terencegalland
  59. terencegalland

    superstitious barbaric savages incredible that this behaviour is going on in a country that is sending rockets to other planets this is pure evil.

  60. Cate
  61. Cate

    Education for sure. But be careful, a lot of those organizations are profit driven and the CEOs make a fortune off of generous people. Go non profit! For example, his hands for india is a good non profit organization that im with. Just make sure to do your research before choosing an organization for you

  62. themousal
  63. themousal

    How ironic, considering only the man make a baby boy.

  64. Richard Neva
  65. Richard Neva

    Sick film. I could not bare to watch it!

  66. Richard Neva
  67. Richard Neva

    I cannot bare to watch this documentary. India, I am not surprised. What authorization does Hinduism give for this horrible practice? Disgusting at the very least!

  68. cyberfrank
  69. cyberfrank

    india has a fascinating culture!

  70. Richard Neva
  71. Richard Neva

    Only education can cure this horrific crime against women!

  72. HopeOn
  73. HopeOn

    You're mistaken dear Nikita. I've seen our well off, educated urban Indians burst into tears on the birth of their third daughter while secretly swearing that the next girl will be aborted early, and only a son will be allowed birth.

    Fellow Indian.

  74. walterbyrd
  75. walterbyrd

    Similar situation in China.

  76. walterbyrd
  77. walterbyrd

    I think dowry system should end.

  78. millie
  79. millie

    don't they realise it is the husbands sperm which determines the sex of the baby in the end so kill the hubbies lol

  80. millie
  81. millie

    don't they know its the sperm that finally sexes the baby so kill the hubbies it's their fault.this practise is disgusting and so is their caste system i.e treatment of the Dalits.these people need to grow up

  82. rukia
  83. rukia

    I can't wait to see a future of India with the men marrying each other, a world that disrespects and mistreats the temple that gives life has no place in the world, -just like you were brought into the light... let darkness take you back.

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