Domestic Violence Against Women Prevalent among Indian Men in Canada, Multiculturalism Policy Blamed

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | January 9, 2014 10:40 AM EST

A study revealed that domestic violence among the Indian community in Canada shows alarming trends. The cases of domestic violence happen mostly against women. They include honour killings, wife battery and foeticide, according to Indo-Canadian delegates attending a diaspora meet. The delegates claimed that they had been striving to stand by Indian immigrants for getting integrated into the mainstream society.

Toronto businesswoman Molly Banerjei told IANS that domestic violence was found widespread in the Indian community in Canada. Her opinion was seconded by a couple other women delegates. Both of them live in Toronto. One of them is the CEO and president of Canadian International Academic Services - Gursharan Kaur Kandra. The other is the vice president of the Association of Women of India in Canada - Priti Lamba.

There are over a million Indians in Canada which has a population of about 33 million. Ms Banerjei, who is also a member of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin - Canada, considers it to be a sizeable number. According to her, Canada's multiculturalism policy has to be blamed for the continuation of such violent practices among Indians.

Ms Banerjei said that the policy, though a wonderful one, made Indians believe that they could continue abusing women. Many financially independent Indian women get abused by their husbands on a regular basis, but the cases are not reported as that may add to the woman's social stigma, she added.

Ms Banerjei said that the Indian community in Canada carried the "same baggage" when they moved to the country from India. The kind of domestic violence that women suffered in India is the same they face even in Canada. An Indian woman is targeted for emotional and physical abuse as she is not considered equal to men, she said.

Foeticide based on gender discrimination is prevalent in the Indian community in Canada. Female foeticide is far easier in Canada than in India since the determination of sex of the foetus is legal in Canada, unlike in India. Similarly, abortion too is legal in the country. Ms Banerjei informed that she would be reading a research paper on the topic at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Honour killing is more prominent among the Tamil and the Punjabi communities, she added.

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