The Gendercide Awareness Project premiered a giant art exhibit in Dallas, Texas to demonstrate the scale of female gendercide (also called female genocide, femicide, or just gendercide).
The global loss of females results from:
- sex-selective abortion
- female infanticide
- gross neglect of girls
- entirely preventable maternal death
- lack of food and shelter for older women
- socially sanctioned violence against women
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that currently 117 million women and girls are ‘missing’ in the world due to these causes. That’s 3.4% of the world’s female population – missing as a result of human choice and behavior. Gendercide has claimed more deaths than World Wars I and II combined. Without exaggeration, gendercide is the largest atrocity the world has seen.
Our exhibit uses 11,700 pairs of baby booties, each pair representing 10,000 missing women and girls, to depict all 117 million missing females. We arranged the baby booties in a vast floor-to-ceiling maze to demonstrate the scale of gendercide. Watch our video!
To enhance the art installation, we invited 27 professional artists to contribute pieces that expressed tribute, solidarity, hope, or personal reactions. Here’s a sampling of their remarkable, powerful work.
Left: Johannes Boekhoudt, The Scape of Lana
“The name Lana means “Beautiful Flower” in Swahili. The painting depicts film frames repeating over and over again the gendercide that must be stopped.”
Right: Letitia Huckaby, Sarena
“The basic premise behind my work is faith, family and legacy. It is a time capsule for the African-American experience. I am always looking at how the past relates to the present, and whether or not things have changed or remain the same. There is always a history built into the pieces, whether through process or actual materials. I often use heirloom fabrics, and I think that is why so many people can relate to my work.
This piece is a statement of solidarity with women worldwide. I hope that in their traditions, they find the solidity and cause for hope that I find in mine.”
See more art pieces here.
We at the Gendercide Awareness Project believe that raising awareness must lead to practical action. We ourselves took action in two ways. First, we commissioned 500 at-risk women in sewing cooperatives in 30 developing countries to make the baby booties, paying them fairly for their work. Some of these sewing coops were created to help women in the most extreme circumstances.
We asked the women to make the baby booties using materials traditional to their own cultures if at all possible, so most booties reflect the artisanal traditions of the women who made them. Our refugee women, lacking materials, cut plastic bags (or their own clothing!) into strips and crocheted those strips into baby booties. The opportunity to work with dignity through sewing and knitting was of incalculable value for these women. Read more about them on our website and blog.
Our second form of action was using the art exhibit to raise funds to educate girls in five developing countries. We believe that educating girls is the best long-term strategy for ending gendercide. In a beautiful arc of giving, the at-risk women who made the baby booties are, knowingly or unknowingly, helping the next generation of girls so that they don’t have to be at risk.
In nine months, we have raised enough to send 30 girls to primary school for a year (or 15 young women to college for a year). This includes tuition, three meals per day, health care, transportation, and school supplies. We work with five education partners who educate girls in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Uganda, and Guatemala.
Partner with Us!
The solution to gendercide is to raise awareness and empower women. In six years, we have educated 3.7 million people through newspapers, online media, radio, films, speakers, and our traveling art exhibit. That’s not enough, though. Please work with us to continue raising awareness and educating at-risk girls overseas!
If your nonprofit group can help us find a high-traffic venue in your city, please contact us. Please bear in mind that the exhibit should stay up for six to eight weeks, as shipping, set-up, and take-down involve significant cost and labor. If the mission of your nonprofit group aligns with ours, we’ll use the exhibit to help you raise funds. Partnership is a beautiful thing!