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 South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid