By ANGELA LU
A smiling Indian woman stands in a field and explains, without emotion, that she strangled eight of her own newborn daughters because they were girls: “Women have the power to give life and the power to take it away.”
The scene from “Millions Missing” is a chilling start to the documentary It’s a Girl, which explores gendercide, the killing of females in the womb and after birth. The film’s director, Evan Grae Davis, set out to make a movie about the cultural roots of sex trafficking and the exploitation of women. But when he heard the Indian woman’s story, he changed directions, deciding to scrap his earlier idea and focus solely on gendercide.
The film focuses on India and China, where cultural preferences combined with societal practices-the dowry system in India and one-child policy in China-have led to widespread gendercide. The UN estimates that up to 200 million girls are missing today, and a majority of them live in those two countries.