‘It’s a Girl’ Trailer Inspires Rap

After seeing the It’s a Girl trailer, this one viewer said he was “instantly moved” and inspired to write this rap. “I think what shook me the most was the fact that women also participate in the killing of girls. Like you, I just felt that the world needs to see this message” he shares.
Thank you for your support and for standing with us against gendercide, Omékongo!

200,000,000 missing – not talking bout money see
Talkin’ about something worth more than currency
Talkin’ about missin’ girls the foundation of a nation
But being born a girl in India is damnation
Desperation – having a girl brings trepidation

So being born a girl leads to deadly devastation
Baby girls bouncing from the womb to the tomb
Delivery room delivering gendercide too soon

How have we forgotten that the woman is key
To open the door of the future for our children to see?

The phrase “It’s a Girl” should bring cause to rejoice
But we kill innocent victims who have no choice, no voice
No say in the way they will die today

Parents leave their land so daughters won’t die this way
We gotta let the world know that we’re killing our seeds
And make it an honor to give birth to a girl indeed.

46 omekongoOmékongo Dibinga is the Director of UPstander International. His life’s mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. Omékongo is a rapper, trilingual poet, CNN contributor, motivational speaker and a TV Talk Show Host. Read more about Omékongo on www.omekongo.com



The views expressed by guest contributors to the “It’s a Girl” blog represent the opinion of the individual author who contributes the content and should not be interpreted as being endorsed or approved by Shadowline Films. We feature these contributions to foster dialogue and exchange on gendercide and invite our readership to join the discussion.

Indian Mother Kills Eight Daughters – The Story Behind the Story

The Indian woman who is featured in It’s a Girl for killing eight of her own newborn daughters has generated a lot of hostility.

Many of the hundreds of comments on the It’s a Girl trailer on YouTube reflect anger and disbelief:

“The woman laughing while saying that she killed eight of her children just makes me sick…”

“wtf..is she a mother?? how can someone kill eight children..man this is sick..”

“… brought me chills. I am going to have nightmares about her.”

“…pink lady needs a beating!”

“Those who kill these baby girls should be killed!!! There are no excuses for this kind of cruelty.”

“WTH is wrong with that woman?????”

These responses are understandable. How can a woman kill her own children and seemingly have no regret? Some viewers, though, were able to look beneath the surface of her smile and discern more:

“…her smile should hide her despair …. well hidden … how sad …”

“I understand people being upset by the woman’s laughter at the end of the video. I think she was reacting in the same way we all do when we are embarrassed or ashamed. Imagine living in a culture where this callous act was expected of you. So very sad.”

“It’s important to understand that mothers are living under larger power structures that force them to take such drastic measures. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum, they dont just wake up one day and decide to kill their daughters…its much larger than that. It’s patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism. etc, etc,…”

While we all agree that there is nothing that can justify or excuse what this village woman did, we need to ask ourselves if we would have acted differently had we been in her shoes. The fact of the matter is that we are all a product of our environment. And the environment that produced this woman is a brutal, female-hating culture. She grew up bound by traditional mores that say girls are of no value. A woman marries into her husband’s family, becoming little more than a possession, and bearing a son or bringing a large dowry are the only two ways a woman can elevate herself within the family system.

Our environment (the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual influences that surround us throughout life) heavily influences our values and belief system as adults. This woman grew up in a patriarchal, son-preferential culture. She is programed to believe that “Raising a daughter is like watering your neighbor’s garden” (an Indian proverb), because, in India, a daughter leaves her family and becomes a member of her husband’s family upon marriage. And she takes a large part of her family’s wealth with her in the form of dowry.

This village woman is a little unusual in that she had gone to middle school – something most girls in her area don’t have the privilege of doing. But her older sister, who married a land-owner in her community, was unable to have children, and it was decided that she would also marry her sister’s husband to bear him children. She was 15 at the time. Her “job” as his second wife was to bear him a son– and she took it seriously.

Later in the film, the village woman sings a song about her plight as a woman in India. It is a sad song about loss and regret.

I can only imagine that her inability to comprehend the value of the lives of her eight daughters is rooted in a complete absence of value for herself. After all, she is a product of her environment and the culture in which she lives.

The question that remains for me is, when an entire social and economic machine like the Indian culture wages war on girls, is change possible and if so, where does change start?

Originally posted on Evan’s personal blog at  http://evangraedavis.com/

Bring ‘It’s a Girl’ to your City: Now Booking Screenings!

If you have landed on our blog, chances are you’ve watched the trailer and have been looking forward to seeing or sharing the full feature-length documentary.

We are very excited to announce that we have made the film available to anyone interested in hosting a screening. This September will mark the launch of our International Screening Tour and Action Campaign (to help viewers respond to the ongoing gendercide around the world with actionable steps). You can be a part of the screenings and the campaign by bringing the film to your community, school, or faith-based group.

Hosting a screening is easy! Simply:

  1. Fill out our screening request form here.
  2. Agree to the one-time licensing fee and rights.
  3. We will then ship you the DVD and screening kit (which will include materials to promote and host your own event and engage in the Action Campaign).
  4. Host your event!

Whether you are a University, an NGO, a student or an individual, we have a pricing option for you.

Please contact us if you have any questions!

Is Gendercide a Concern in America?

There are an estimated 200 million ‘missing’ women in the world today. Although a large percentage of these cases occur in Southeast Asia, namely in China and India, son preference is not uncommon in Europe and is a growing problem in the U.S., where a number of reports attest that, yes, Americans too have aborted thousands of babies simply because they are girls.

Abortions based on gender are currently legal in the U.S., eventhough 86% of Americans are opposed to the practice according to a 2006 Zogby International Poll.

Why I Speak out Against Gendercide.

ManubensChineseDaughtersMy family adopted my two sisters from China because of the issues surrounding the One Child Policy and the inherent preference for sons within Chinese culture. Having said that, we didn’t fully realize the scope of the orphan crisis and issues relating to it like gendercide, or how these issues would eventually become an integral part of our life.

In 2004, thousands of families just like ours were adopting from China because of the many little girls in need of families. We were simply a family of six, who wanted to care for and love a child in need of a family.

So, after submitting our paperwork to the Chinese government, we were matched with a healthy 16-month-old girl from Beijing, whom we would name Emma Grace. Emma was found abandoned in front of an office building on February 15, 2003. There were no details given to us surrounding her birth, only that she was found and the authorities concluded she must have been one day old, probably due to her umbilical cord. She was cared for by the police for five days in hopes that someone would come looking for her, but when no one did, she was sent to the city orphanage. It was there she resided until we came to adopt her 18 months later.

Most adoptive families are able to visit the places where their daughters were found, but this wasn’t an option for us because both girls’ information was very vague. In Emma’s case, we asked our guide about the area she was from and it was his opinion that Emma was probably a second child born to a family wanting a son, due to the higher affluence of the area she was found in. Regardless, we know she was abandoned, most likely because of her gender.

Esther’s story was a little different. Born with a severe cleft lip and palate, she was found abandoned by a road in Shenzhen, China on January 11, 2003. Again, no information surrounding her birth or finding, but we can conclude her family must have tried to care for her during those first few days. In Esther’s case, she was most likely abandoned due to her severe medical needs. After she was found, Esther was also taken to the police station, where they looked for her parents, but eventually transferred her to an orphanage. The government paid for her to receive the surgery to correct both her lip and palate before we adopted her in March 2006. Esther’s birth family most likely faced financial problems and were unable to pay for her surgery. It was probably in her best interest that they gave her up in order to save her life.

Today, I want my sisters to know where they came from and have an appreciation for their birth culture. They will always be Americans, but they will also always be Chinese. I also want them to be aware of the issues in this world. They were victims of gender preference, but it doesn’t mean they will stay victims. I want them to feel powerful as women, and that they have the ability to make a difference in this world. I believe it’s through awareness that the issues surrounding gender preference and gendercide can begin to be talked about and discussed and steps can be made to put an end to it. That’s why I am passionate not only about adoption and the orphan crisis, but about gender issues as a whole and how each of us can make a difference. The world is so much closer now than it was twenty years ago and the issues of other countries are becoming ours as well. There’s a lot that can be accomplished by using our voices to speak for those who cannot.

ManubensFamilyAfter adopting the girls and seeing the situations they came from, I feel it’s my responsibility as their older sister to educate them about the issues that still go on. Later, this will become their responsibility as well. We would be foolish and dishonor the girls’ birth parents by not telling their story and the issues surrounding them. There may be more instances of gender preference in countries like China and India, but we have been given a voice in our own country to speak out against injustice and to make a difference. I want Esther and Emma Grace to know they have a voice. Their birth parents gave them a chance at a new life when they were abandoned and it’s now their responsibility to speak out and give a voice to the millions of girls around the world who were not given the chance at life.

It’s easy to look at the issue and want to blame their birth parents for being cruel and heartless. I could easily look at my sister’s birth parents and think this of them as well. But I believe there is much more to the issue than a parent willingly killing or abandoning their child because of her gender. In my sisters’ case, we believe they were both abandoned by their parents in the hope that they would be found and cared for. And they have been, along with thousands of other girls like them. Yet, there are still many who are born into a world where their culture believes they are not of any worth. I believe, it’s through education that we can change this mindset, and that’s what I believe in continuing to do through my younger sisters and by telling their story.


sm-headshot-21Sera Manubens, 22, is the oldest of seven children, three of whom were adopted from China. Sera, has a degree in English & Intercultural Studies from Southwestern University and recently got engaged to fiancé Jason (congrats, Sera!). Manubens blogs here.


The views expressed by guest contributors to the “It’s a Girl” blog represent the opinion of the individual author who contributes the content and should not be interpreted as being endorsed or approved by Shadowline Films. We feature these contributions to foster dialogue and exchange on gendercide and invite our readership to join the discussion.