The Gendercide Awareness Project, called Gendap for short, deals with the loss of female life in large parts of the world due to:
- sex-selective abortion
- female infanticide
- gross neglect of girls
- maternal death that is entirely preventable
- the inability of older women to access food and shelter
We call this “gendercide.” The United Nations Population Fund estimates that currently 117 million women are “missing” in the world due to these causes. That’s more deaths than World Wars I and II combined. In China, 10% of the female population is missing; in India, 7%. Arguably, gendercide is the largest atrocity the world has seen, yet so few of us know about it.
Why are we so unaware? Gendercide passes under our radar because it does not occur as a single, explosive act of violence. Instead, gendercide is a silent and ongoing attrition. It occurs in the privacy of the family against a completely voiceless victim.
Sex imbalances lead to social problems
The status of women does not improve when females are in short supply. In fact, just the opposite occurs: sex trafficking increases, as does the buying and selling of brides. Aging bachelors, unable to find women of appropriate age, marry ever younger girls. These child brides leave school and begin bearing children. Maternal death rates soar as girls in their early teens attempt tasks their bodies cannot manage.
Not surprisingly, there are strong correlations between sex imbalance and crime. A study conducted in 2000 shows that sex ratios are the best predictors of murder rates in the various states of India — better predictors than poverty, illiteracy or urbanization. In China, crime has spiked in the regions where sex-selective technology first became available.
This is a problem we can solve
Gendercide results from human choice and human behavior, not natural causes. This is both a tragedy and a source of hope. A man-made problem is a problem we can fix — which is just what the Gendercide Awareness Project is working to do. We are tackling the problem with three “A’s”: Awareness, Action, and Art.
Awareness: We use the Internet to generate awareness nationally and internationally. We also use film screenings, presentations, and other media.
Action is the modest way we empower at-risk women. We work with almost 30 women’s cooperatives in developing countries and we pay the women a fair wage to make baby booties. We are collecting 11,700 pairs. Each pair represents 10,000 missing women.
Art is what we do with all those baby booties. We are creating an exhibit to demonstrate the scale of gendercide in a powerful and moving way, as can be seen in this 2-minute video below. We will use 11,700 pairs to represent the 117 million “missing” women in today’s world.
The art exhibit will lead directly to a take-action exhibit. There we explain how to empower women:
- Education for girls
- Vocational training and microloans for women
- Maternal and reproductive healthcare
Visitors will be able to donate directly to vetted non-profits that work in developing countries to do just that. In short then, we have two goals:
- to generate awareness about gendercide
- to empower women to end their own annihilation.
We also need donations – big and small. At this point we have 80% of the 11,700 pairs of baby booties we need. Your donation will help buy the rest, and at the same time, empower a woman overseas. Just $10 will buy 3 pairs of booties, allowing her to provide a nourishing meal for her extended family.