Director Evan Grae Davis gives TED Talk in India

I was honored to join a select group of speakers at the December 2nd, 2012 TEDxGateway event in Mumbai, India. The largest TEDx event in South Asia, TEDxGateway draws an audience of nearly 1000 leaders and influencers from India and throughout the region to hear short talks on “ideas worth spreading”. The talks cover innovative and engaging topics ranging from new technology to social and medical concerns.

I presented some short scenes from the film along with hard-hitting statistics from India and China that provided the audience with an astounding picture of the scope of gendercide and it’s impact on millions of girls throughout the world today, and then challenged all present to join in the fight to end it.

It was a great privilege for me to stand on that prestigious red circle on the stage in Mumbai and connect with influencers from throughout India about what we can do to work together to end the social evil of gendercide. Judging by the collective gasps coming from the audience when I showed segments from the film, they seemed to have been deeply impacted.


It’s easy to assume that Indians are fully aware of the problem, but I’ve found that while everyone is familiar with the general issue, many in India are still shocked when we present the full scope of the assault on women and girls.
Reaching the Indian audience with this important message is a priority for us, and so we have committed to making the film available at a significant discount to those who will host screenings in communities throughout India. Our hope is that those who attended will share the film and engage their circles of influence in exploring solutions to restore dignity and worth to the girls of India.
From the Aral Sea disaster in Eastern Europe to poverty in Africa to social transformation among tribal groups of South America, “It’s a Girl” director Evan Grae Davis has traveled the globe with camera in hand for 16 years. Evan has dedicated his career to advocating for social justice through writing and directing short documentaries and educational videos championing the cause of the poor and exploited. Evan draws from his experience and passion as he lends leadership to Shadowline Films, a team of filmmakers who share a common concern for the critical issues of our time. It’s a Girl is his first feature-length documentary. 

“It’s a Girl” Premieres at British and European Parliaments

It’s a Girl held its UK premiere at the British Parliament on October 30. The screening was co-hosted by Lord Alton of Liverpool and Baroness Howe of Idlicote with various MPs, leaders of NGOs and other invited guests in attendance. 
In his opening remarks at the screening, Lord Alton connected the gendercide in India and China with the recent shooting of a young girl in Pakistan:

The story of an amazing 14-year-old young woman, Malala Yousafzai, recovering in a Birmingham hospital after being gunned down by the Taliban in Pakistan, for campaigning for the right to schooling and education, illustrates the horrific nature of the intolerance to which many young women are subjected.

That discrimination begins even before birth, when the three most dangerous and deadly words which  can be uttered are the words “It’s a girl”.

An engaging panel discussion followed the screening, with director Evan Grae Davis, producer Andrew Brown, and Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers responding to a wide range of questions. Of particular note was the diverse audience, with representatives from both pro-choice and pro-life leaders present. There was a strong desire to find common ground and work together in opposition to end gendercide.
The team then traveled to Brussels for a premiere screening at the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Gay Mitchell in a packed auditorium.
During the Q&A following the screening, Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers applauded the European Parliament for recently passing  a resolution that  “strongly condemns . . . the practice of forced abortions and sterilizations globally, especially in the context of the one-child policy.”
The resolution further states that “the EU has provided, and still provides, funds for organizations involved in family planning policies in China,” and “urges the Commission to ensure that its funding of projects does not breach” the European Parliament’s commitment against coercive population control.
These two screenings at the British and European Parliament were significant opportunities to present the urgency for action against gendercide in front of global leaders, with members of the respective parliaments and other influential leaders in attendance at both screenings.
Join us in petitioning other world leaders to take action against gendercide:

“It’s a Girl” is an official selection at the ‘this human world’ Film Festival!

t’s a Girl is thrilled to announce that we are an official selection at the 2012 this human world Film Festival in Vienna, Austria. Scheduled to coincide with the 10th of December, Human Rights Day, this human world presents a week of brand new feature films, documentaries and short films set around contemporary themes.

Over the course of the festival, Human Rights is center stage both visually and in the form of panels, audience discussions and lectures during eleven days. The selection of films takes place in collaboration with experts, curators, NGOs and partner festivals.

It’s a Girl will screen as part of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights film series at the festival. We’re honored that It’s a Girl was chosen to bring the issue of gendercide to the stage at this important human rights film festival.

Learn more about the this human world festival here:

“It’s a Girl” Screening Updates!

Last month, the organization GirlKIND launched with a special event screening of It’s a Girl. The event took place in Abbotsford, BC at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. The evening included musical performances, a spoken word artist, and guest speakers, with the highlight being the community gathering together to watch It’s a Girl and discuss the many faces of gendercide.


GirlKind organizer, Deesh Shekon reports that “many tears were shed throughout the evening,” but “many [audience members] left feeling inspired to do something to save our girls.”


Take a look at the outstanding video that GirlKIND created from footage of the event. You can also visit our Facebook page to see pictures from another amazing It’s a Girl screening planned by World Vision India.

If you have not yet seen, It’s a Girl, please check our website for upcoming events. If you don’t see one in your area, please consider taking the next step and planning an event at your local theater, at your college or university, or at your local community center or even your own home. 

“It’s a Girl” Launches Action Campaign with

We’re excited to announce that It’s a Girl has officially launched our partnership, an online platform that leverages the power of social media to make an impact in a new era of activism. This partnership allows It’s a Girl to make a stronger impact on the lives of girls around the world allowing us to move our audience from awareness to action.

Through we are providing simple, direct ways to get involved in the movement to end gendercide. This includes petitioning world leaders to end gendercide, and donating to our partner non-profits Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and the Invisible Girl Project who are working against gendercide at the grassroots level in India and China.

Take Action Now!

1) Sign the petition to end gendercide in China
2) Sign the petition to end gendercide in India
3) Donate to the Invisible Girl Project, a nonprofit working in India
4) Donate to Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a nonprofit working in China

Causes President and CEO, Matt Mahan said, “We created Causes to help ordinary people build movements for change. It’s a Girl is sparking one of those movements right now: people from around the world are coming together online to take action against one of the greatest tragedies in human history. We’re honored to be a platform for their incredibly important work.”

The It’s a Girl is equally excited to work with Our action campaign against female gendercide has a huge vision, so we needed a technology platform capable of fueling a movement. We spent months looking for the right platform. The moment we found Causes, our search was over. And we found much more than a technology platform! Causes understands our vision and is bringing their wealth of experience to support this movement. We believe this is the most pressing human rights abuse happening today, and Causes is the ideal partner in this movement to save women and girls.

Please join us in making a difference against gendercide. Visit us at and add your voice.

We’re an official selection in the Amnesty International’s REEL AWARENESS Film Festival!

We are honored to be selected for Amnesty International’s 2012 REEL AWARENESS film festival in Toronto. The REEL AWARENESS festival, started by a group of Amnesty International volunteers in 2005 selects exceptional films that are focused on paramount human rights concerns. Each screening incorporates a call-to-action, and asks audiences to participate in letter writing, petition signing and post card actions on related Amnesty International campaigns.
Amnesty International has a strong reputation as a champion for human rights globally and this festival is an ideal venue for us to work together to expose the injustice of gendercide.

My Personal Thoughts as I Observe the International Day of the Girl

I was privileged to grow up in a home with a father and mother who have a strong, loving relationship. Throughout my life I have witnessed my parents’ commitment to walking though life’s ups and downs together with respect and honor. They have been married for over 50 years and still act like young lovers, even today. I have always known my father to treat my mother and sister with utmost respect and honor.

So when I met my wife, Jennifer, I felt intensely privileged that she would trust herself to me as her lifelong partner. I consider her a treasure of great value– one that I have never earned nor deserve, but has chosen to endure the challenges of life together with me nonetheless.

Then when I began traveling internationally and experiencing other cultures, I was shocked and confused by the way women were treated by their fathers, brothers and sons. Many cultures in Africa consider men with multiple wives as normal. It seemed that in almost every village I visited, the heat of the day found men sitting in the shade while the women worked the fields. The more I traveled, the worse the plight of women appeared. It seemed half the world did not allow women to vote or own property. And many nations, like India, who provide legal rights for women in their constitution fail to enforce those rights in the face of a prevailing patriarchal culture that believes women are inferior and subordinate to men.

Over the years, what I would have expected to be a trend towards increasing rights and protections for women throughout the world has seemed to go quite the opposite direction. Sexual exploitation and trafficking of women is at an all-time high. Systematic rape has become a new weapon of terror in times of war. There are 2 to 3 million cases of female genital mutilation every year.

Girls are the most marginalized and discriminated group across the globe. 70% of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty in the world are women. 60 million girls are forced into marriage before the age of 18. One in three girls in the developing world, as young as 7 to 10 years old, face being forced into marriage every day. These child brides are two times as likely to be beaten by their husbands, are often treated as property, and rarely see the opportunity to get an education.

The past couple of years spent producing It’s a Girl and witnessing first-hand the scope of gender violence in the world has left me shaking my head. I wonder how societies moving towards greater economic prosperity and social complexity can be moving the opposite direction on women’s issues. I think often about the underlying forces at work behind cultural mindsets or traditional practices that require the victimization of an innocent human being in order to preserve or protect the status quo. How does change come when such beliefs are so deeply engrained in the social fabric of a nation? How does one contribute in a positive, productive manner to the process of culture shift on such an overwhelming scale?

This first-ever International Day of the Girl, to be celebrated on October 11th, marks a movement to speak out against gender bias and advocate for girls’ rights everywhere. As I think about how I will observe the International Day of the Girl, I know for me, it starts in my own home– loving and valuing my own wife and children; raising my daughter to know her incredible potential as a woman who can change the world; raising my son to honor and respect women and carry on the values I was taught; standing behind my wife as she becomes a world-changer in her own right.

Please join the It’s a Girl action campaign on We’ve partnered with several leading organizations working on the ground in India and China to develop this campaign to make a difference in the fight against gendercide. With a few simple clicks, you can join the cause, sign petitions targeting global leaders, and even save girls and women. We need your help, and on this first International Day of the Girl, what better time to start to take action?


From the Aral Sea disaster in Eastern Europe to poverty in Africa to social transformation among tribal groups of South America, “It’s a Girl” director Evan Grae Davis has traveled the globe with camera in hand for 16 years. Evan has dedicated his career to advocating for social justice through writing and directing short documentaries and educational videos championing the cause of the poor and exploited. Evan draws from his experience and passion as he lends leadership to Shadowline Films, a team of filmmakers who share a common concern for the critical issues of our time. It’s a Girl is his first feature-length documentary. 

End Gendercide Manifesto

More girls are killed every year in India and China than are born in the US. Join us in ending this and taking a stand against Gendercide. Add your voice to our manifesto and help us change the tide for girls and women in India and China.

The It’s a Girl manifesto states, among other things, that girls are a valuable part of our global society and supporting the rights of girls and women means supporting basic human rights. Read the complete manifesto here. We hope you will join us in sharing this manifesto far and wide online.

Take a stand against gendercide. Sign the manifesto.

Follow us on Facebook and share the manifesto with your friends.

Bring “It’s a Girl” to Your Local Theater for Free!

We are very excited to announce the launch of our partnership of It’s a Girl and! Tugg is an online platform that lets individuals and organizations in the U.S. host movie screenings at their local theaters.

What does this mean for you? This means that if enough people in your community want to see It’s a Girl, Tugg can bring it to a theater near you!. If you’re the host, it’s FREE for you! All you have to do is promote the film to ensure enough tickets are pre-sold.  Now you can help bring this important film to theaters all across the U.S., and you don’t have to pay any licensing fees. To learn more, visit:

Director Evan Grae Davis said, “It is our hope that by educating the public on gendercide, we can help end this war against girls. Tugg gives us a unique opportunity to reach theaters and audiences at a greater capacity than we would normally. Now that any motivated person can screen It’s a Girl at their local theater at no cost, the film’s message about gendercide can reach even more people.”
While Tugg only works in the U.S., you can still bring It’s a Girl to your community by obtaining the public viewing license. All you have to do is fill out the this form, and we will follow up with you. It’s easy!
We have already started booking screenings around the world, thanks to organizations like UN Women, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, Invisible Girl Project, and many other organizations. Visit our website to see if there are any screenings near you. Many more are being added each week, so check back regularly!


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…”

“ she a mother?? how can someone kill eight 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