Annual U.S. Human Rights Report Concentrates on Women and Children

The U.S. released its annual human rights report last week and intensified its campaign to focus on women and children. The State Department report investigated conditions in 193 countries and found the problem of forced prostitution of women to be widespread in India. It also found that gang rapes were used as punishment for alleged adultery and that domestic violence over dowry disputes were a serious problem in India. The report estimated that 80% of Pakistani women were victims of domestic violence but that police often simply returned abused women back to their husbands. Female children in Pakistan were also found to have fallen even further behind than their male counterparts in terms of health care and education. The report did cite some progress for women in 1996: development of legislation on family law in Namibia; legislation on violence against women in Ecuador and on women’s political participation in the Philippines.


Reuters - February 3, 1997

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