According to the UN, an estimated 40 million girls are missing in India. You would think that this would be cause for national uproar and yet every day thousands of girls are being aborted, murdered or left abandoned in care homes.
Walter Astrada’s heartbreaking film, Undesired, shows a situation symptomatic of a bigger problem in modern day India. Still dictated by gender stereotypes, the mentality is that from birth to the grave, women are second class commodities whose only purpose is to give birth to boys.
In a culture where daughters are unwanted and represent expensive dowry payments, girls are often mistreated, not only by society, but within their families and are often rid of educational prospects and therefore financial autonomy.
Distressing human rights violations aside, it’s clear that this shocking outlook is unsustainable for India’s successive generations. How can India progress when half of the country is being left behind? When denied equal opportunity, India’s women and girls will continue to be the burden that dusty tradition and stereotype deem them to be.
For more information on the the film Undesired, check out Zofia Walczak’s fantastic interview with the director, Walter Astrada.