Status of Women in the West (8)
The bitter reality of the current era is that the western governments castigate the conditions of women in prisons in some other countries, while they themselves never give a clear report on the same issue in their countries. This, while evidence shows that the western countries are the main violators of the rights of women despite their claims of defending human rights.
The United States of America criticizes different countries for what it calls violation of human rights. Conversely, numerous reports from the prisons of women in the US reveal that the US regime has treated female prisoners so harshly that the UN anti-Torture Committee released a report, urging the US to reform its behavior with female inmates. The report added that the maltreatments such as rape, racial discrimination and using shackles and fetters have turned the US jails into the most horrible ones.
In this part of the program let us listen to the remarks of our expert, Ms. Elham Akhundan,
"Unfortunately, the international structures for defending human rights and some of the western countries, which introduce themselves as the guardians and defenders of human rights in the world, have taken a discriminatory, duplicitous, dependent and unfair approach on human rights and have left a bleak and bitter record. In spite of all efforts of the groups defending the rights of women, the figures of violence against women and raping them has been skyrocketing in the west. It is interesting that only 5% of women in the world live in the US but this country has 30% of female inmates in the world!!! This means that the female prisoners in the US are twice more than China and 4 times more than Russia.
In 98% of cases of rape in the US prisons, the perpetrator is a male from the prison authorities. There are reports that the female prisoners in the US are raped by other inmates, too. Thousands of reports indicate that the male officials force the imprisoned women to submit to their demands for merely providing them narcotics or other facilities, or threaten women of writing fake reports on their transfer to solitary cells or even prohibition of meeting their children due to their misbehavior in prisons. Thus, many of the victims of rape either don't dare complain or their voice is not heard at all."
The Amnesty International, which often keeps silent over the crimes and misconducts inside US prisons, released a cautious report in which more than 1000 rapes were confirmed by American prisoners and prison officials. The New York City Department of Correction has also released a report on the bitter situation of women's prisons in the US. One of the very ghastly parts of the report is related to a kind of genocide which is being carried out in the US prisons against women. To be clear, nearly half of the pregnant inmates of the American prisons are forced to carry out abortion. The fact of the matter is that the United States has a very dark history of sterilization of black and poor women. According to the report of the New York City Department of Correction, in the period of 2006-2010 nearly 150 colored women had been sterilized only in New York jails.
Human Rights Watch published a report in which it had lambasted the inattention of the US government to the conditions of female prisons. The report stresses that in spite of spectacular increase of prisons in the US, this has caused a lot of problems for women as the structures of the prisons are male-special. As per the statistics of International Center for Prison Studies (ICPS), the United States always ranks first in terms of the male and female inmates in the world. The number of female prisoners has grown 700% since 1980 in the US.
One third of the whole women imprisoned in the world are in the US and most of them are black or colored. Given that more than two thirds of female inmates in the US are mothers and most of them have children under the age of 18, this has affected their families very badly. One of these problems is that these women are incarcerated hundreds of kilometers away from their homes; hence, their failure to meet their family members for long. These problems are doubled for pregnant women. The American daily Huffington Post, in a shocking report, disclosed some of the atrocities conducted at the US jails against pregnant women. It says that these women are handcuffed even at the time of delivery. The report adds that the pregnant women in Massachusetts and other states are handcuffed during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period. Michel is a woman who recalls horrible moments when she was being transferred from Massachusetts Correctional Institution to give birth in hospital while she was still handcuffed. She was imprisoned for a nonviolent act but, even in the hospital, she was accompanied by two armed guards. Michel was put at a secure section of the hospital; and at the time of delivery, she was chained to the bed for 18 hours. She said, "After the childbirth, I was instantly handcuffed and fettered for transferring to the bath."
Michel's account was just one out of hundreds of bestial behaviors against women at the US incarceration centers.
March 13 and 14, 2014, The UN Human Rights Committee examined the compliance of the US's performance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It was revealed that the United States of America had violated articles 7 and 10 of the covenant at the prisons of women. Handcuffing of pregnant women at the time of childbirth violates both the UN Convention against Torture and the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution.
The situation of women at the prisons of Britain is no better than those of the US. This has highly discredited the British claim of defending human rights and rights of women. According to the figures of the British Ministry of Justice, approximately 4500 women are incarcerated in Britain, 28% of whom are racial minorities. Women, like minorities and other inmates, are kept in squalid and tough conditions; so much so that 78% of them are suffering from psychological and spiritual problems and 30% of them have engaged in self-beating. The British Deputy of Ministry of Justice, Maria Eagle, announced in an interview that the female prisoners are prone to self-harassment, suicide, and harassment by other inmates. She also castigated the heedlessness of the government and the officials of prisons.
These bitter realities are just the tip of the iceberg in the west. The western regimes keep deafening the ears of humanity by their propaganda on human rights and rights of women while it is they that are the biggest violators of human rights in their countries and across the world.