In the north Indian state of Haryana there are 834 girls for every 1000 boys. This imbalance has been created by an aversion to having daughters, assisted in recent times by advances in medical technology. It is the starkest possible representation of the low value and status of girls, denying them a place in the world. Breakthrough is working on the ground with families, influential community members and health workers to tackle the underlying causes of this problem.
"We see people opting for sons all around us. There are no girls left." - Health worker. Our research suggests a woman in Haryana often has little choice about her pregnancy. Coercion and violence are commonly used to control her choices. Fewer girls in society increases the risk of violence (rape, abduction, forced marriage). Local politicians recently offered 'brides for votes', suggesting girls be 'imported' from other states. This commodifies women and institutionalizes human trafficking.
Breakthrough is building a network of local leaders, empowering and equipping them to challenge their own communities. We are asking them to hold to account those who break the law, and to recognize the value of daughters. We're helping women who have never spoken out before to break their silence, and to make their own decisions about their reproductive rights. We know that real change will only happen if local people dismantle the social norms (many unspoken) which have built up over time.
In all Breakthrough's work we demonstrate the value that girls and women bring to their communities. We are present in and trusted by local communities, who have kept this issue hidden for generations. We want to end gender-biased sex selection and reduce the risk of girls and women suffering emotional pressure and violent attacks. We can reverse the trend, with your help.