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."
    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.

    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora