Reproduction & Abortion Week: Undesired

This piece on Undesired, by Martyna Przybysz, originally appeared at Bitch Flicks on March 26, 2012 as part of our Biopic and Documentary Series.


It was a simple coincidence that led me to discovering this short film that you are about to watch. I was looking for a powerful story about women, in which their success or status would not be defined by their womanhood or the men in their lives. Instead, I have found exactly that, but in the worst possible scenario – a real life story of how India’s women are facing a slow extermination of the entire sex. Because in some families – especially the ones that cannot afford to pay the old-fashioned, dowry – women’s husbands, and their respective families are driven by the belief that the sole purpose of being a woman is to bring a son into the world. From the moment they are capable of bearing a child, those females are under threat of extreme violence and death if their duty is not fulfilled.

Undesired, with interviews and images shot by Walter Astrada, whom I believe to be a very courageous photojournalist, brings to light this painful and current social issue still faced by many. According to Reuters, modern day India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for women to live, but it seems like it is also one of the most difficult ones for a female life to even begin. Gender inequality and the desire to rectify it, let alone feminism, seem like completely foreign concepts for certain classes. There is also a seeming contradiction in this entire predicament – if a woman is to be perceived as the bearer of life, how can she be made to bring about this life’s actual end?

Read more about the issue and Astrada’s project. Watch it, share it, spread the awareness.

In India, all women must confront the cultural pressure to bear a son. The consequences of this preference is a disregard for the lives of women and girls. From birth until death they face a constant threat of violence. See the project at


Martyna Przybysz is a Pole who resides in London, UK. She works in film production. This is her blog: