IMF chief urges India to focus on women in wake of child rapes

Washington: IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday called on India´s leader to focus more on women in the wake of the “revolting” rape and murder of two young girls.

While she praised the nation´s economic performance, “what has happened is just revolting,” Lagarde said when asked about the incidents in the past week involving a seven- and an eight-year-old girl. “I would hope that the Indian authorities, starting with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, pay more attention, because it is needed for the women of India,” a visibly angry Lagarde said. “It´s not just a question of talking about them.”

Speaking as the International Monetary Fund opens its Spring meetings, she said she chided Modi earlier this year at a gathering in Davos because “he had not mentioned women enough.” Lagarde, a long-time advocate for women´s rights, said the comments reflected her personal view, not that of the institution.

The gang rapes and murders of the two girls sparked nationwide outrage and demonstrations throughout India. A 2014 UN report said one in three rape victims in India was a minor. Nearly 11,000 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau´s latest figures.

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