Report Exposes Failure of Law to Address Reproductive Health Problems in India

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New Delhi, India

Media Advisory

Indian release of Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives - South Asia.

A groundbreaking study, this report by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights and local Asian partners, including the Lawyers Collective in India, exposes the Indian government's failure to address the reproductive health crisis befalling women in the country. The basis for sound reproductive health has to be a woman's autonomy. But in India, laws and policies blatantly discriminate against females. As a result, women and girls in the country are among the worst off in the world and experience extreme forms of social injustice.

* India has the highest absolute number of maternal deaths in the world.
* India is the world's leading bazaar for the sexual trafficking of young women.
* Over half of Indian girls are married as minors. Although child marriage is illegal, the practice runs rampant.
* Between 4 and 6 million Indian women undergo unsafe, illegal abortions every year.

Women of the World - South Asia examines the laws and policies that influence women's reproductive health in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and recommends specific legal strategies consistent with the governments' promises to protect the rights of its citizens under constitutions and international law.

Saturday, September 25, 2004
9:30-11:00 am

India Habitat Centre
Gulmohar Hall, New Delhi

The launch will be a part of the opening session at the National Consultation on Laws, Policies and Rights in the Context of Reproductive Health and Population Stabilizatio