My He(ART)-Full Life

Monday, March 7, 2011

these are our daughters

This is my baby girl  Tara when she turned one. Isn't she... precious? Irreplaceable? Full of potential and promise? Of course she is! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind and heart...but not everyone feels this way...There are millions and millions of little Indian girls exactly like her who will never see their first birthday..or who will never be born for that matter.
"How could fifty million plus women just disappear from a country in a period that spans less than a century? That number is about the size of the entire populations of Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Portugal put together. Occasionally one reads in Indian papers about baby body parts being found in a well in the compound of some clinic, or a young woman dying of burns under suspicious circumstances due to a supposed kitchen accident, but there is nothing in the news that suggests a blood-bath on the scale of a genocide. "
                                              -Rita Banerji from 50 million missing

(3 Tamil Women,watercolor and collage)
This is a subject so close to my heart...I can barely breathe when I start to think about it. I get equal parts...furious and a deep deep sadness; heartbreak. Gender based violence occurs all over the world...I am sure we are all aware of that. But in India (and Indian communities everywhere)...There is a silent genocide/gendercide going on right now. I wrote all about it in this post last year...right here .
There are factsnewspaper  articles, statistics...but what do we know of the millions and millions of lives lost...a genocide that leaves no footprint behind because it is so hidden...subversive...Murdering babies because they are girls; female infanticide. There are also sex selective abortions, dowry deaths...on and on. A conservative estimate is ...there are 50 million females missing. Just like that...gone!  Why are we so easily discarded? Do we have no value and worth? What is this hatred that murders our daughters and sisters in such large numbers? Who will bear witness to these untold stories, these unborn lives, this unimaginable violence? Who will speak up for these unborn girl babies? Anyone?
It's been 4 years since I did my art exhibition Shakti that focused on this very issue. I have to admit...while I am very aware of the can feel overwhelming. What can I-one person-do? What can any one person do against a culture, society and country so steeped in centuries old misogyny?
Well, that's where Rita Banerji comes in! When I first found out about her and the brave and tireless work  she does...I was in absolute awe. She is brilliant, outspoken...a powerhouse of  a woman. And she actually agreed to do an interview with me!! She started the 50 million campaign to raise awareness and stop this genocide that has no end in sight. Please stop by tomorrow when I will post the first segment of this amazing interview. In the can go here to sign the petition against this massive genocide against us. Because it is against all of us women. These are our daughters...


Hearthandmade said...

what a brilliant post and such a beautiful daughter!! I love your art work. Im a fellow blogging your way class mate.

Kerri said...

such a good post-- and SO important. your daughter is just beuatiful. i am so glad she belongs to YOU and haa such a happy life!

Anita said...

I must live with my head in the sand...I did not realize things like this still happen and it breaks my heart! Thank you for bringing awareness to me....and others...I not only signed the petition myself but I recommended it to my facebook friends and also tweeted about it.

You DO have a precious and beautiful little girl there!

Much love,
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of
God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
--Mother Teresa

eva diva said...

It is International women's day today and it breaks my heart that Women still have to fight for basic things like freedom to live and exists in various parts of the world. Soraya, I'm so proud of your exhibition and your work to bring awareness to women's issues through your artwork!Am going to sign the petition right away!

I'm so sure that your daughter will carry your strength and beauty as she grow up!

Rita Banerji said...

Love the picture of little Tara! And in bringing her into the picture you are indeed sending out the message that this is not about "them" -- this is about "us" -- about "our daughters." Thank you for this Soraya, many hugs:-)

Carola Bartz said...

Your little Tara is such a sweetheart! I'm so glad that she can grow up in a safe place where she is loved just for who she is.

Wini said...

Tara is beautiful! I agree that female infanticide is heartbreaking. It happens in China too. I have signed the petition. Wini xo