A joint national campaign to protect and empower girls
The Vanishing Girls campaign of ADF India has been actively working since 2016, in partnership with several likeminded civil society groups, to save the lives of unborn girls. Every day in India, 7000 unborn girls are aborted only because they are girls, whereas sex-determination is a punishable offence under the PCPNDT (Prohibition of Sex-selection) Act.
There are several societal evils that work against the girl child and endanger her life, contributing to the anomaly of boy-preference in Indian society. It is critical therefore for civil-society groups addressing these different challenges to come together to craft a coordinated response.
Hence, this year, in the lead up to the International Day of the Girl, we helped bring together several groups that work across India to protect and empower the girl child for a month-long campaign: Celebrating Girls for LIFE. LIFE is an acronym that stands for Love, Inheritance, Freedom & Equality.
The campaign was launched on September 7, 2020, and culminated with a special online event on October 10, on the eve of the International Day of the Girl 2020.
The multi-pronged campaign for the girl child saw the different partnering organizations lead workshops, awareness programs and webinars under different focus areas:
- Arise & Restore: Combating Trafficking of Girls, led by EFIC@R on September 21
- My Girl, My Pride: Prevention of Girl Child Sexual Abuse, led by Red Rope Movement, Women of Worth and NCCI on September 24
- Faith Leaders on Girl Empowerment, led by the Archdiocese of Delhi, VIVAT and ADF India on September 28
- Unconscious Bias: Be the Change She Wants To See, led by Women of Worth on October 1
- Pre-Birth Discrimination Against Girls, led by Girls Count and ADF India on October 5
Another important highlight of the campaign was a Short Film Contest. Through this contest, participants were encouraged from across the country to send their original short film entries that convey the theme of the campaign. The contest drew beautiful entries with powerful films that showcased challenges faced by women and girls at birth and life—at home and in society, their strengths, achievements, and contributions. The films also focused on exposing false narratives and prevalent social evils against girls.
The panel of judges for the Short Film contest comprised of nationally renowned filmmakers:
- Svati Chakravarty Bhatka, Director of Rubaru Roshni and Co-Creator of Satyamev Jayate
- Sharon Angel, TV show host, business owner, humanitarian and speaker
- Vipasha Kiran, Entrepreneur, independent film-maker, and story-teller
- Pearl Ganta, Independent filmmaker
The winning entries from the contest were felicitated and screened during the online event on October 10, as the leading filmmakers congratulated the winners of the Short-Film Contest.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Tehmina Arora, Director, ADF India, said: "The power of storytelling is a tool to change the world. In our society, women can change the world. As we celebrate the International Day for the Girl Child, let us pledge to tell a story of hope and power to our girls."
The winning entries from the Short Film contest can be viewed here.
For more information on the campaign, visit www.girlchildday.in