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How can gender-biased sex selection be tackled?

          Our street theatre group enacting the play 'Rani ki kahaani,' a play that conveys the message of fighting gender biased sex selection.

          Our street theater group enacting the play ‘Rani ki kahaani,’ a play that conveys the message of fighting gender biased sex selection.

          Most conversations around gender-biased sex selection place the onus on the mothers, who rarely have a say in the matter. Since the entire community plays a coercive role in pressuring women to have sons, it is essential to target communications at the level of both the family and the community.

          Gender-biased sex selection is the social responsibility of the community, and not of any one individual. This practice is rooted in discrimination against women – the desire for a male heir to carry forward the family lineage, the burden of protecting daughter’s “safety” and the burden of sexuality, the practice of dowry – therefore to overturn the practice one has to challenge the deeper discrimination that women face. We need to inspire and support families and communities to stand up and say daughters are welcome here.

          Our Interventions on the Ground Breakthrough is working on the ground in four districts of Haryana – Rohtak, Sonipat, Panipat and Jhajjar – to target the roots of gender-biased sex selection. In the long run, the community must be empowered to welcome daughters into their home by changing the long held patriarchal beliefs and expectations that discriminate against daughters and drive a preference for sons. Using mass media and community mobilization methods – from interactive theater to long-term leadership trainings to youth, Anganwadi workers, government officials and other agencies – we are working to ensure that society recognize the worth of girls and women and end gender-biased sex selection.

          Breakthrough ( is a global human rights organization working to make violence against women and girls unacceptable. Our mission is to prevent violence against women and girls by transforming the norms and cultures that enable it. We carry out this mission by building a critical mass of change agents worldwide — the Breakthrough Generation — whose bold collective action will deliver irreversible impact on the issue of our time.

          Working out of centers in India and the U.S., we create innovative, relevant multimedia tools and programs — from short animations to long-term leadership training — that reach individuals and institutions where they are, inspiring and equipping them to build a world in which all people live with dignity, equality, and justice. Breakthrough is working in Haryana to end gender-biased sex selection with the support of UNFPA, Tata Trust and Ikea Foundation.

          Join us in fighting gender biased sex selection in Haryana.


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