Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Deaths Of Women In Indian Sterilization Program, Access To Family Planning

Financial Times: India should empower, not sterilize, women
Editorial Board

“…The [sterilization] tragedy … goes far beyond a one-off mistake. It stems from an endemic failure in India to adequately address the issue of women’s empowerment, particularly when it comes to sexual relations and child-rearing. … India’s addiction to sterilization is born of a misconception that its birth rate is out of control. Statistics do not bear this out. … India would do better to embark on a serious attempt to empower its women. Study after study has shown that, when women take greater control of their lives, society benefits. Many of India’s chronic social problems — from child malnutrition and illiteracy to violence against women — would be greatly diminished by policies that emphasize women’s rights in schools, at work, in the family, and in the bedroom…” (11/16).

Huffington Post: On the Tragic Deaths and Injuries Sustained by Women in the Indian State of Chhattisgarh
Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA executive director

“Tewodros Melesse, director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and I are deeply saddened by the reports of the tragic deaths and injuries sustained by women undergoing surgical contraception in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. We join their families, as well as the people and governments of India, in mourning the departed. … It is critical to ensure the quality of service for all contraceptive methods, as well as the availability of a full range of modern contraceptives, which must always be chosen freely by fully-informed men and women, without any forms of incentives. In addition, surgical contraception must always be administered in safe and sanitary conditions. We welcome the government’s initiation of investigations, and we call for all those responsible to be held accountable to avoid impunity for those who provide services at low standards. Accountability will uphold choices of individuals and quality of service…” (11/14).