This article looks at an ancient tradition of India called devadasis, which literally means “servant of God”. It requires girls as young as four years to be ‘married’ or ‘dedicated’ to a temple deity. Once a revered practice, over time the traditions evolved allowing women and children to become sexually exploited in the name of God. Looking at the reasons for the difficulty in combating this issue, this paper will first analyse its practices through a historical lense. Secondly, the extent of this exploitative practice will be discussed, and a major objective will be to explore the cultural underpinnings of a practice that permits the sexual exploitation of minors under the guise of religion which leads to sexual servitude and trafficking. This paper analyses the reasons for its continued practice and will conclude with some recommendations for improving the status of these vulnerable persons.
"The Devadasi System: An Exploitation of Women and Children in the name of God and Culture,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss1/8