New Delhi: Gloria Steinham warns "trafficking" profits rivalling those of illegal arms & drugs Print E-mail
Thursday March 1 2007

Activist, journalist, feminist and woman

P. Anima

NEW DELHI: She has been an inspiration for a generation of women in the United States and across the world. During an interaction with journalists at the Indian Women's Press Corps on Wednesday, journalist-feminist Gloria Steinem not only discussed issues close to her heart like trafficking of women but also offered a peek into her life as a feminist.

"The worldwide human trafficking network is bigger than what existed during slavery," said Ms. Steinem, who is in the country to see some of the initiatives of "Apne Aap" that works for women involved in prostitution.

Ms. Steinem said the trafficking network is getting to be as profitable as the arms selling and drug-selling network.

Despite the trafficking network going out of hand, Ms. Steinem said there were no State laws in New York against trafficking of women.

During the interaction, Ms. Steinem took a trip back in time to her journey as a feminist. The woman who was once credited with the one-liner, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle", talked about the time she ran away from marriage and also about her decision to get married at the age of 67.

"First of all, that line is not mine though I wish I had said that. I just quoted it," Ms. Steinem quipped.

She said she was part of the fight for over 30 years to change the unequal laws of marriage and got married when the laws became more equal.

Recounting her trip to India almost 50 years ago, Ms. Steinem said: "My mother and my grandmother were theosophists and I was also here as I was engaged and didn't want to get married."

Ms. Steinem said that after half a decade India has changed profoundly but remains "so complicated and so deep".

An underlying note of humour remained an integral part of the interaction. When quizzed about Hillary Clinton's chances as the next President of the United States, she quipped: "She will be a good President as she has had eight years on-the-job training that none of the others have."

But on a more serious note she added, "I think both Hillary and Barack Obama would be excellent Presidents."