Once again a woman has been gang-raped in India and this time the victim is an American tourist. Unfortunately, the victim accepted a ride from three men, after she was unable to get a taxi, and instead of driving her back to her hotel, they drove to a secluded area and raped her. Tests performed at the hospital, confirmed the sexual assault. Reporting on her condition, police chief Kumal Kumar said, “she is stable and is accompanied by two women constables. All medical help has been given, and the doctors have been taking care of her,” the inspector said. “We have told her we are like family and are available for any help.” Perhaps the Indian government will take this threat more seriously now that an American is the victim. The woman was attacked in Manali, a city at the base of the Himalayas, approximately 300 miles (185km), north of the Capital, New Delhi. She is believed to be between the ages of 35 and 40. This is only the latest in a series of brutal gang rapes plaguing India. These are not simply isolated cases, it appears to be an epidemic, which requires immediate action of a three-pronged approach. First, cultural issues must be addressed. Women in India are simply not respected by men, particularly in rural areas. The subjugation of women helps the uneducated, non-competitive males, feel better about themselves. They are clearly angry for their less than stellar lives and lack of importance in their society and therefore take it out on those most defenseless. The so-called caste system and lack of social mobility is a large part of the problem. Second, educational institutions must take the lead. Boys must be taught from early on, that women are equals of men and their bodies belong to them. There must be more academic, social interaction between boys and girls from the earliest grades through high school. Finally, the punishment must fit the crime. At the very least, anyone convicted of taking part in a gang rape should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. As I have previously written, I believe a mandatory death sentence is the only way this will end, but in all likelihood, that won’t happen. But one thing is certain, India, which claims to be the largest democracy in the world, will never be part of the first world, as long as it fails to treat, protect and defend all of its citizens equally.