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Monday, Sep 01, 2014

Persecution of Indian Women: Documentary Exposes Abortion, Sex Trafficking, Rape

  • (Photo: "Veil of Tears" website)
March 15, 2014|10:59 am

India suffers from an abysmal literacy rate, weak infrastructure and rampant poverty. But one of the toughest challenges the world's second largest country must confront in the 21st century is how it will better serve its declining and vulnerable female population.

As a whole, Indian men surpass women 1,000 to 943. According to a CNN story from 2013, there are regions where the figure falls below 800.

The causes discouraging families and communities from raising and protecting girls and women are explored in "Veil of Tears," a new documentary from Gospel for Asia, which releases in the U.S. on March 28.

A woman in India faces obstacles from the moment she is conceived. Families who see girls as an economic cost, rather than benefit, may abort female babies or leave infants to die after birth. Once out of the womb, women may be sold by their families or kidnapped into the sex trafficking industry.

In an op-ed on Monday Christian singer Natalie Grant, who narrates the film, wrote that the documentary reminded her that in light of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, many who shared her gender did not share her access or opportunities.

"This violence and injustice, whether it's dowry related or associated with human trafficking or takes the form of infanticide, is a daily reminder that deeply-rooted traditions still enslave millions of women across the globe. It's a constant reminder to victims that things will never change — things will never get better," wrote Grant.

Many rural women may also find themselves subject to bride burning, where a groom may kill his wife because of unhappiness with his dowry, and widow abandonment.

But urban women are not necessarily safer than their rural counterparts. Many cities are hubs for sex trafficking and illicit sex work. A 2012 gang rape in Delhi which led to the death of a 23-year-old medical student, suggested that even women in the country who do have the chance to pursue a more Western styled lifestyle remain at risk.

"Our goal with 'Veil of Tears' is to portray the realistic picture of millions of women in South Asia who have been oppressed, just because of their gender," said Dr. K. P. Yohannan, founder and international director of Gospel for Asia. "We hope that the body of Christ — and even those who are not Christians — will see that as human beings, we have a moral obligation to care and think and to act, to bring some hope for these women."

Kenny Saylors, who directed and produced the documentary with his brother Kyle, said that in the film, he tried not only to capture the oppression to which India women are subject, but also show where their trajectory may be turning more positive.

"For nearly 20 years, we have made films that capture the tragic side of the human experience," said Saylors. "But we also try to communicate the beauty and hope found amid tragedy. In 'Veil of Tears,' we wanted to show the courage, resilience and faith of women and demonstrate that God is changing hearts and lives, even in the most difficult of situations and locales."

Grant wrote that she hopes the film will also encourage Western women to do more to help Indian counterparts.

"We need to remain vigilant to the plight of those who still face severe mistreatment because of their gender," she wrote. "While my heart still aches from the brutal oppression I saw among so many women, that ache turns to joy when I see them embracing the hope that some concerned people are working to offer them: educational opportunities, literacy training and job skills ... You can help by getting educated, supporting organizations working to end the oppression of women and speaking out against this persecution."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/persecution-of-indian-women-documentary-exposes-abortion-sex-trafficking-rape-116164/