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Chapter 7

India

“It would be good if there were more women in leadership positions in government.” (76% agree)

In India, where cows are sacred, the chamars who scrape fat and hair from a deceased steer's hide and use chemicals to make it into leather occupy an unenviable position. They are Dalits, or Untouchables, and although legally protected from discrimination, they are still rejected by much of society. At school, Dalit children are often forced to scrub floors while classmates study. As adults, Dalit are lucky to find work. The least fortunate, among them many women, work every day collecting and disposing of human and animal waste.

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