In this hundred and fourty-fifth archive story by Kristian Bertel, we learn about the roles and rights of girls in India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
The treatment and status of girls in any society is usually closely related to the status of women in that culture. In cultures where women have a low societal position, girls may be unwanted by their parents and the state may invest less in services for girls. Girls' upbringing ranges from being relatively the same as that of boys to complete sex segregation and completely different gender roles.
The treatment and status of girls in any society is usually closely related to the status of women in that culture. In cultures where women have a low societal position, girls may be unwanted by their parents and the state may invest less in services for girls. Girls' upbringing ranges from being relatively the same as that of boys to complete sex segregation and completely different gender roles.

Girls in India

India is fascinating, complex and feared and there are probably only a few countries where minds are so divided. The country, which is mainly influenced by Hinduism, is characterized on the one hand by a multifaceted, colorful and "exotic" culture and the hospitality of its inhabitants is unparalleled, on the other hand the overpopulation and the resulting problems of for instance girls and their rights, the often dilapidated infrastructure and certain peculiarities of the Indians attract many visitors the stay difficult.

Why are there more girls in India?

The health ministry said this was the first time ever that the female population had surpassed the male population in India. One official said this was due to the measures taken by the government for women's empowerment. Some reports hailed it as a massive achievement and a demographic shift.

Positive and less positive in India
The constant alternation of positive and less positive, even shocking experiences subjects many travelers to an emotional roller coaster. What helps to keep the emotional pendulum from swinging too much in one direction is knowledge of the girls position in India and to have the knowledge that avoids misunderstandings and inspires tolerance. The Photographer, who has traveled in India is seeing the mysterious caste system and the relationship between the sexes as well as with Indian business practices, table manners and the contrasts between modernity and tradition fueled by globalization.

Gender influences the pattern
There are gaps in access between different regions and countries and even within countries. Gender influences the pattern of child labour. Girls tend to be asked by their families to perform more domestic work in their parental home than boys are and often at younger ages than boys. Employment as a paid domestic worker is the most common form of child labour for girls. In some places, such as East and Southeast Asia, parents often see work as a domestic servant as a good preparation for marriage. Domestic service, however, is among the least regulated of all professions and exposes workers to serious risks, such as violence, exploitation and abuse by the employers, because the workers are often isolated from the outside world.

When it comes to Child labour in India it has a very negative effect on education and girls either stop their education or when they continue it, they are often subjected to a double burden or a triple burden of work outside the home, housework in the parental home and schoolwork. The term 'Child labour' refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful. Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide, although these laws do not consider all work by children as child labour.

"A girl is a young female human, usually a child or an adolescent. When a girl becomes an adult, she is accurately described as a woman. However, the term girl is also used for other meanings, including young woman and is sometimes used as a synonym for daughter or girlfriend. In certain contexts, the usage of girl for a woman may be derogatory. Girl may also be a term of endearment used by an adult, usually a woman, to designate adult female friends"

Obstacles to girls' access to education
Girls' equal access to education has been achieved in some countries, but there are significant disparities in the majority. In many parts of the world such as in India, girls face significant obstacles to accessing proper education. These obstacles include for instance early and forced marriage and early pregnancy and prejudice based on gender stereotypes at home, at school and in the community, violence on the way to school or in and around schools, long distances to schools, vulnerability to the 'HIV epidemic', school fees, which often lead to parents sending only their sons to school such as lack of gender sensitive approaches and materials in classrooms. Girls' health suffers in cultures where girls are valued less than boys and families allocate most resources to boys. A major threat to girls' health is early marriage, which often leads to early pregnancy. Girls forced into child marriage often become pregnant quickly after marriage, increasing their risk of complications and maternal mortality. Such complications resulting from pregnancy and birth at young ages are a leading cause of death among teenage girls in developing countries.

Human rights issues and violations in India
India finds itself as one of the leading economic powers of the region, but still is plagued with numerous human rights issues and violations. India has had numerous issues with rape and sexual assault in past years, particular against women and children. The government has condemned these acts but has taken very few steps to truly combat said issues and as a result, they still remain immensely prevalent in Indian society today. Despite policies aimed at helping victims of rape or sexual assault being implemented, victims still face immense shame at hospitals or police stations and it is assumed that while the number of cases is already extremely high, there are many more unreported instances due simply to the potential of humiliation and there are also instances of religious violence in India. The rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide are formed on the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the feminist movements during the 20th and 21st centuries. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom and behavior, whereas in others, they are ignored and suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys.

The topic of girls' rights in India is one that encompasses an immense number of states, international governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. All these institutions contribute a variety of services and perspectives towards human rights, covering topics including the enforcement, monitoring and criticisms of human rights for girls in India. There is no single body that covers all of human rights in Asia, as such a diverse and widespread region requires a number of institutions to properly monitor the multitude of elements that fall under the scope of human rights. There have historically been numerous criticisms of human rights in India, but a variety of new treaties and conventions now strive to accomplish a level of human rights as they are known on the international stage.

Humanitarian photography in India
When something in photography is humanitarian it is an active belief in the value of human life such as with the photograph of this girl in India, whereby humans practice benevolent treatment and provide assistance to other humans to reduce suffering and improve the conditions of humanity for moral, altruistic and emotional reasons. There are a number of meanings for the term 'Humanitarian'. Here in the streets of India, humanitarian for instance pertains to the practice of human conditions and alleviating suffering. Humanitarian principles are a set of principles that governs the way humanitarian response is carried out and the principle of humanity for the Photographer also means that all humankind shall be treated humanely and equally in all circumstances, while ensuring respect and understanding for the individual.

Telling stories with pictures
While traveling in India the photographer discovered the variety of motifs that the urban environment offers from the small town to the metropolis of millions. In his numerous photographs spontaneous street scenes, people encounters and special lighting moods. In this archive story and on this website the photographer presents his favorite motifs and explain step by step how his pictures are created. He was inspired by wandering through Mumbai city and captured his favorite motif on camera with pictures that show people as they are and capture their personality in all its many facets. Kristian Bertel | Photography loves the genre of portrait photography and his versatile pictures shows you the many unstaged people that his been taking their natural portraits.

Read also:  Garments of India

Read also:  Garments of India

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a girl in Mumbai. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.