IMF's Lagarde urges India to focus on women in wake of child rapes

Published April 19, 2018
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a press conference during the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group at IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC, April 19, 2018. —AFP
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a press conference during the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group at IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC, April 19, 2018. —AFP

IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday called on India's leader to focus more on women in the wake of the “revolting” rape and murder of two young girls.

While she praised the nation's economic performance, “what has happened is just revolting,” Lagarde said when asked about the incidents in the past week involving a seven- and an eight-year-old girl.

“I would hope that the Indian authorities, starting with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, pay more attention, because it is needed for the women of India,” a visibly angry Lagarde said.

“It's not just a question of talking about them.”

Speaking as the International Monetary Fund opens its Spring meetings, she said she chided Modi earlier this year at a gathering in Davos because “he had not mentioned women enough.”

Lagarde, a long-time advocate for women's rights, said the comments reflected her personal view, not that of the institution.

The gang rapes and murders of the two girls sparked nationwide outrage and demonstrations throughout India.

A 2014 UN report said one in three rape victims in India was a minor.

Nearly 11,000 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau's latest figures.

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