Violence Against Women: A Cultural Problem?

British Columbia's Attorney General Wally Oppal
BC’s Attorney General Wally Oppal.

Three violent attacks on South Asian women in Vancouver in the past few weeks have the Canadian public broadcasting station, CBC, raising questions about violence as an insidious part of the South Asian culture:

It’s a deeply unsettling string of crimes. But the three violent attacks on women–rooted in B.C.’s Indo-Canadian community–are raising concerns across the country. Two women were killed, including a pregnant mother whose charred remains were found several days after her disappearance. And one woman–who was shot in the head by her estranged husband–remains in hospital.

Earlier this week, a popular Surrey B-C station called Radio India opened up its phone lines to callers over this issue–they say the phones haven’t stopped ringing since. Many of the callers are women seeking help. We aired some of the sound of the station–and then Radio India’s business manager, Ashiana Khan.

Listen to the whole broadcast here.

British Columbia’s Attorney general and prominent Indo-Canadian politician Wally Oppal has called South Asian violence against women a cultural cancer, commenting that any culture that celebrates the birth of sons and devalues the borth of daughters is bound to have problems around domestic violence.

Do you agree that violence against women is still an issue in the South Asian community outside of India, and that these beliefs are widespread?

November 2, 2006
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