'Spend on women, not bombs'

Updated on Nov 26, 2006 11:23 AM IST

Nuclear capable nations should spend money to stop exploitation of women instead of making bombs, says Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

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None | ByReuters, New Delhi

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said on Saturday that nations with nuclear capabilities should spend money to stop exploitation of women instead of making bombs.

The lawyer, in India to promote women's rights, said governments often said they lacked the funds to improve women's lives, but added that they had no financial constraints when it came to manufacturing nuclear bombs.

"I think no country needs bombs - not India, Pakistan, Iran, America or Israel," Ebadi said through a translator at a news conference in New Delhi.

Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, said poverty was the main reason why women became sex workers and that no one would sell their body for the pleasure of others unless they were in dire financial need.

She said that although prostitution was illegal in many countries, authorities often favoured the client rather than trying to understand the plight of the woman.

Ebadi said in an interview to a French newspaper on Friday that the world's focus on Tehran's nuclear programme was overshadowing human rights abuses there.

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