Simone Nascetti, The missing women

text and photos by Simone Nascetti

edited by Victor Anton

According to the United Nations, in Asia, the gender difference between men e women is very high. The Nobel prize for economy, Amartya Sen, define this difference as the “mystery of the missing women”. These are the women that would exist, if not being for selective abortion, infanticide and the social-economic discrimination. In many Asian societies the girls have less attention comparing to the boys because they are economically underestimated.

In India, the second most populated country in the world, this phenomenon has a big dimension. Here, the discrimination comes directly from the low condition of the women in the society: patriarchal systems, woman subjection to the husband and combined marriages. A daughter is in transit at her ancestral home. At the time of marriage she will leave and devote herself to the husband’s family. From that moment on she will stop giving anything to her parents.

Raising a daughter, for the Indians, is equivalent to “watering the neighbor’s yard.” According to UNICEF estimates, each year a million girls die just because they belong to a gender considered as second class.The mortgage announced by ultrasound is canceled with a selective abortion and the girls who can see the light have less food, less medical care, less assistance.

The tradition establishes to give a dowry to their daughters for compensating the fact that her father’s death will not be entitled to any inheritance. But now the in-laws have become more demanding than ever before and, not happy to wring the maximum for the marriage, they are asking for continuous additions to the dowry.

In the poorest families, when a father fails to pay his “debt” for her daughter the in-laws kill her. It seems incredible, but 17 girls are killed every day because their parents are no longer able to satisfy the demands of the in-laws. Actually the number of victims is even higher, but it is almost impossible to tell with precision because the majority of crimes are reported as “death due to accidents at home.”

Promoting the instruction of the women could have a catalytic effect in all the fields of development and uplift the female figure with dignity and respect.

Simone Nascetti was born in Bologna (Italy) in 1978. He is a  freelance photographer currently working for non-profit organizations dealing with international cooperation. He realized different reportages in Brazil, Argentina, India and Europe, with issues concerning women, children, disabled people and human rights.


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