Last updated on: 8/21/2013 | Author:

Ruchira Gupta, MA Biography

Founder and President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Con to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"

“A cruel and bizarre idea has surfaced since the rape of the 23-year-old student in Delhi — that prostitution should be legalised because ‘men will be men’ and, if prostitutes exist girls from ‘good’ families will not be raped.

Besides the very elitist notion that poor women should be sexually available to protect middle-class women, the idea is an insult to most men who do not have an unbridled sexual desire. Most men will not rape women if they are not obtainable otherwise. Most men, like most women, know that there is an appropriate place and time for sex and build relationships around it. They don’t see rape as sex, but rape as violence…

Prostituted women do exist. The CBI admits to three million prostituted women in our country. Yet National Crime Records Bureau data shows that between 1953 and 2011, the incidents of rape went up by 873 per cent. Obviously the root cause of rape is not lack of access to sex but a hatred for women and a desire for violence to women’s reproductive parts. Perhaps this data proves that the existence of prostitution normalises a rape culture.

Rape cultures are nourished by norms, attitudes, and practices that trivialise, tolerate, or even condone violence against women. They are further normalised if there is impunity for perpetrators either due to a lack of effective legal mechanisms or apathy to prosecuting crimes against women.”

“Where Rape Is Seen as Violence,”, Dec. 30, 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide
  • Designed and taught courses on human trafficking for New York University’s School of Global Affairs, 2012 and 2013
  • Recipient, Times Now Amazing Indians Award, Stree Shakti category, 2012
  • Recipient, Godfrey Phillips Bravery National Award, 2012
  • Recipient, Sera Bangali honor, 2012
  • Recipient, Karmaveer Puraskaar Award, 2011
  • Recipient, Women Who Care Award, United Nations Association of New York, 2011
  • Recipient, Clinton Global Citizen Award, 2009
  • Addressed the UN General Assembly on human trafficking, 2008 and 2009
  • Recipient, Abolitionist Award, UK House of Lords, 2007
  • Testified before the US Senate regarding the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 2000
  • Recipient, Emmy Award for “outstanding investigative journalism” for her documentary, The Selling of Innocents, 1997
  • Formerly worked for the United Nations in various capacities in 12 countries
  • Board member, Coalition against Trafficking in Women
  • Member, advisory councils of the Polaris Project, Vital Voices, Ricky Martin Foundation, Asia Society, Nomi Network, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia-Pacific, and Cents for Relief
  • MA, English Literature, Bombay University (India), 1987
  • BA, Loreto College (Kolkata, India), 1985
  • Attended Modern High School (Kolkata, India), 1982
  • Ford Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Member, Steering Committee of the Planning Commission, Five-year Plan for Women and Children, Government of India, 2010-present
  • Member, New York City Mayor’s Office, Human Exploitation Working Group, 2010-present
  • Member, Working Group on Child Protection of the Ministry of Women and Children, India, 2007-2008
  • Recipient, White House felicitation, 2000
  • Former journalist, Telegraph (India), Sunday Observer (India), Business India, and the BBC
Quoted in:
  1. Is Prostitution a Victimless Crime?