Rekha Pande

A new book authored by Professor Rekha Pande, titled, Sex Trafficking of women and girls in South Asia with a special focus on India, and published by Kalpaz Publication, Gyan books, New Delhi has been released recently.

Prof. Rekha Pande is a Professor and Head of the Department of History at the University of Hyderabad (UoH). As a Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Maulana Azad National Urdu University from 2005 to 2007, Prof. Pande was part of an Anti trafficking Network in the Combined State of Andhra Pradesh, along with a large number of Police Officials, Law enforcement agencies, NGO’s and other Government Departments and had a large number of opportunities to interact with the victims of trafficking. Mr. Umapati the IGP, who was involved with the Anti Human Trafficking, Nodal Officer, has written a foreword to this book. He writes that, Rekha Pande’s work deserves encomiums as she has dealt with all aspects of this multi-dimensional problem which can only be tackled by various stake-holders joining hands together. The book may be kept in all libraries, more particularly with Police/Prosecutor/Judiciary training institutes across the country.

South Asia is among the world’s most vulnerable regions to both natural and human made disasters. It has emerged as the poorest, illiterate and least gender sensitive regions in the world. The problems of women living in these poor and illiterate regions are compounded by the existence of patriarchal societal order.UNICEF maintains that the numbers being trafficked in Asia represented nearly half the world total — and that South Asia is bearing the brunt. Trafficking in women and girls for sex work is a reflection of the complex social issues facing the global society today. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Today more than a million women and girls are at an increased risk of further violence, as well as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS due to trafficking. When examining the problem of trafficking from a gender-perspective, we note a similar pattern of prominence of the underprivileged and marginalized gender as major victims of trafficking. Women and particularly young girls are the most vulnerable targets of and often at the receiving end of such atrocities. The liberalization of the economy in the wake of globalization in the third world has vastly diminished traditional livelihood means for the poor. Poverty and deprivation, secondary status accorded to women in society, prejudice against the girl child, weakening of the family structure, changing public attitude towards sex and morality, the caste structure, urbanization, migration and the growing consumerism are some of the factors that have contributed to trafficking. India is no exception to this trend and is emerging as a major source, transit and destination point for trafficking.

The present book examines this issue from a gender perspective and analyses three agents in this issue namely the victims, the police, the Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) and Community Based Organizations (CBO’s). This book makes an important contribution to the ongoing debates and discussion on trafficking of women for sex work.This book has a data of 300 respondents from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. These included 225 victims who were found in various shelter homes or working elsewhere after being rehabilitated, 30 police officials and 45 NGO persons who were very actively involved in the whole task of rehabilitating these girls and women. People dealing with human rights and violence against women, post graduate and graduate students; scholars; lecturers; activists will find this as a useful resource. In short, this book is an essential reading for activists, academicians and students and those interested in social, political and economic issues related with violence against women and trafficking of women and girls for sex work.

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