Indian Parents Are Doing Something Marvelous To Promote Gender Equality

Girls are just as valuable as boys.

India has a grave female feticide problem. In patriarchal society where rape is commonplace and boys are valued over girls, staggering numbers of female fetuses have been aborted over the past few decades. Aiming to combat that bias, prime minister of India Narendra Modi launched #SelfieWithDaughter on Twitter, encouraging parents to share photos of themselves with their daughters on social media.

The hashtag quickly started trending worldwide, as many parents gamely participated in the campaign. Along with the photos, Modi encouraged them to include words to promote his "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" (Save Daughters, Educate Daughters) program. Initiated in January 2015, the program aims to change perceptions on girls and women in the country. In a country that in recent times has so often made headlines for horrifying cases of sexual harassment, "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" promotes both the safety and education of young Indian girls, and to stress their importance in the nation's growth.

A colorful, historically rich country, India's patriarchal society continues, even today, to value men over women, boys over girls. In the past 30 years, some 12 million girls have been aborted simply because women are seen as less valuable in society, and therefore burdensome to families. 

But the response to Modi's request for a #SelfieWithDaughter was heartening, to say the least.

In fact, the campaign proved as relatable outside of India, with many foreigners praising Modi's efforts to do away with female feticide and sharing father-daughter photos themselves.

Do you believe in gender equality? Share this story with your friends!