News / Africa

Carter Decries Abuse of Girls in India

Carter Decries Abuse of Girls in Indiai
X
Kane Farabaugh
April 18, 2014 3:31 PM
A 2013 State Department report on human trafficking says there are 26 million people around the world who are victims of modern day slavery, many of them young girls. The problem is a growing concern, particularly in India. VOA's Kane Farabaugh spoke recently with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter about the problem, which is addressed in his new book, "A Call to Action."
Kane Farabaugh
A 2013 State Department report on human trafficking says there are 26 million people around the world who are victims of modern day slavery, many of them young girls.  The problem is a growing concern, particularly in India. In a recent interview with VOA, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter talked about the problem, which is addressed in his new book A Call to Action.
 
Carter calls the abuse and neglect of women the worst human rights violation on the planet.
 
"The most serious problem is murder of baby girls by their parents, the abortion of a girl fetus if the parents find out she's going to be female," he said.
 
Perhaps nowhere is that problem more evident, says Carter, than in India, where a growing shortage of women is attracting more human trafficking.
 
"Nepal is the source of much of the female slavery going into India. India has a great shortage of women, not only for wives, but also for prostitution," he said.
 
University of Chicago law professor Sital Kalantry says the disparity in India can be traced to the use of technology to aid pregnancy.

"In the '80s the ultrasound technology gained popularity in India, which allowed people to identify the sex of the fetus," said Kalantry.  "Due to women's structural positions in society, and the idea that women are burdens, many individuals chose to abort female fetuses.  And now, twenty years later, what has happened, in some regions in India, there is a shortage of fifteen to twenty percent of women.  So there are large masses of men who will never be married in India, so often you will not only see trafficking, but you see brides brought in from other countries like Nepal for marriages."

Carter explains how parents are lured by promises.

"They tell the parents of a girl, 'Why don't you let us take your daughter? We'll teach her how to be a teacher, a beautician, or a nurse. We'll make sure she sends a fourth of her income back to you to support your poor family.'  The parents think they're doing their daughter a favor. The first night she's there with the handlers now, the slave sellers, they drug the girl. They rape the girl. They debase the girl."
 
Need to change perceptions of women

Law professor Sital Kalantry says the government of India has tried to reverse the problem by curbing access to ultrasound technology and abortions, but continued demand has driven the market underground.
 
"It's still widely available. There's illegal ultrasounds, and doctors and medical technicians profiting from doing sex determination tests," said Kalantry.
 
Both Carter and Kalantry say to reverse the trend, and balance the gender gap, each society needs a long-term approach that includes changing perceptions of women.

 "It will only really be resolved when we give women more opportunities in society.  Where women are valued, where education for women is valued, where economic independence is valued, where women aren't seen as economic burdens," said Kalantry.

It is estimated that there are 7 million fewer girls than boys under age six in India, a statistic that underscores the need to educate and promote female roles and gender equality.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: James Sibanda
April 19, 2014 3:32 AM
Perhaps Mr Carter can give us his thoughts on the humanitarian issues in Zimbabwe since 1980 till today, when it celebrates it 34 years of independence. Looking forward to his thoughts on this.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid