New Delhi, India – In an amazing ode to the human spirit, #SelfieWithDaughter, has been going viral globally as a means of raising awareness of the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter) campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the skewed ratio of girl/boys in India due to the practice of female infanticide.
— Nandini Mridhul (@NandiniMridhul) June 30, 2015
During his monthly radio address Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked moms and dads throughout India to tweet photos of themselves with their daughters. He asked them to use the hashtag #SelfieWithDaughter as a means of helping to educate people about the disproportionate gender ratio in India and the joy of daughters.
— Naveen Jindal (@MPNaveenJindal) June 29, 2015
India, as a historically patriarchal society, has a large number of baby girls that are killed at birth due to their being considered less desirable. A report released earlier this year put the number of girls killed a day at 2,000.
— Tarun (@dreamthatworks) June 29, 2015
According to a report in The N.Y. Times:
The #SelfieWithDaughter idea sprang from a local politician in a small village in the state of Haryana who proposed a similar concept to draw attention to his state’s uneven birth rates. Haryana placed last among all Indian states in its child gender birth ratio as of the the last national census; there were just 834 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of six years old.
The campaign began with people of Indian descent, all around the world, posting photos of themselves with their daughters on Twitter.
— Raminder Jit Singh (@ramindersays) June 28, 2015
Then something interesting happened.
What began as an Indian phenomena soon went global, with #SelfieWithDaughter tweets soon coming in from around the globe, from people who have no connection to India, but who felt true solidarity in touting the value of daughters’ globally.
Hopefully, the awareness raised by this campaign will spark the minds of the young generation of Indians and force them to question the status quo of patriarchy, ending the brutality it entails.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.