Published in Frontline, India’s National Magazine, Volume 18, No. 26.

In his essay "Many faces of gender inequality" (Volume 18 - Issue 22, Oct. 27 - Nov. 09, 2001) Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen does not address rape in the Indian context. With hundreds of thousands of women incorporated into the sex trade in Indian brothels, and thousands taken by sale, coercion or force from Nepal, Myanmar and other countries - among them are girls as young as 10 years old - Sen's omission is highly problematic. Indeed, in terms of some of India's gravest gender inequalities, Sen's scholarly article really says hardly anything.

The United States perhaps leads the world in various forms of gender inequality, discrimination and violence against women. As in Japan, the "glass ceiling" prevails in the work place and restricts women's access to pivotal career opportunities.

Rape as a social institution prevails, particularly in the burgeoning prison industry - and is an epidemic problem for men as well - where thousands of women in numerous U.S. state and federal prisons are constantly subject to egregious coercive sexual violence and rape by their male captors.

Keith Harmon Snow

An investigative journalist,
photographer and African scholar
Williamsburg, Massachusetts.