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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More