India the most dangerous country for women: Thomson Survey


A global survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked India as most dangerous country for women. The poll was conducted by consulting 550 gender experts from 5 different continents to compile a list of the dangerous countries for women. Some of the drafted questions were put forward to policymakers, journalists, academicians, health workers and respondents. Their responses were then recorded to compile the list where India became as a front runner.

The report by Thomson Reuters Foundation has cited high risk of sexual violence, non-sexual violence, human trafficking, Health care, gender discrimination and cultural tradition as their parameters in which India shamelessly topped the list. Report highlighted how law enforcement and judiciary have failed to tackle this menace.

Many regressive traditions in India also account for a massive impact on women, said the survey while citing multiple instances of genital mutilation, domestic abuse, child marriage, and acid attacks. The survey also recounts figures by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), asserting that law enforcement agencies in India are approached with complaints of close to 100 sexual assaults every single day.

How safe are the women in India posses a big threat after numerous awareness, schemes and laws? Questions are being raised to the efforts taken by central and state government to make India a safer country for women? How we as a society are responsible for disrespecting women, a nation where women are worshipped as Goddesses? This report possesses a serious threat regarding our competency to provide a living free environment for the women.

The 10 countries on the list of Thomson Reuters Foundation

1 India
2 Afghanistan
3 Syria
4 Somalia
5 Saudi Arabia
6 Pakistan
7 Democratic Republic of Congo
8 Yemen
9 Nigeria
10 USA

While the survey ranks war-plagued countries Afghanistan and Syria, second and third respectively, Somalia takes the fourth and Saudi Arabia, the fifth position on the list of five most dangerous countries for women. While six out of the ten countries on the list are in Asia, the only western country to find mention in the list is the United States which has been ranked at number 10. In a similar survey conducted by the foundation about seven years ago, India was ranked at number four while Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, and Somalia were the other four countries that made the list.

The foundation said, “World leaders vowed three years ago to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls by 2030, allowing them to live freely and safely to participate equally in political, economic and public life. But despite this pledge, it is estimated that one in three women globally experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime”.

The six key parameters where India fared poorly.

Sexual violence: India was also the worst-ranked State in terms of sexual violence, which includes rape as a “weapon of war”. It also includes domestic rape, incidentally, something that the Supreme Court had ruled cannot be considered a criminal offence. It includes lack of access to justice in a rape case, sexual harassment and coercion into sex “as a form of corruption”. While the Democratic Republic of Congo was ranked the second-worst, the United States surprisingly came in third from bottom.

Non-sexual violence: This includes violence against women, but only those cases that don’t fall under the category of sexual crimes. They include domestic, physical and mental abuse. India was the third-worst country in the world, only behind Syria and Afghanistan. The US was in the sixth position.

Gender discrimination: This includes discrimination in employment, an inability to make a livelihood, discriminatory land, property or inheritance rights, lack of access to education and lack of access to adequate nutrition. On this front, India was ranked the third worst, behind Saudi Arabia and bottom-placed Afghanistan. Pakistan and Bangladesh also featured in the top 10.

Human trafficking: Thomson Reuters defined human trafficking as “domestic servitude, bonded labour, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual slavery”. This is another criterion that critically hurt India — the country fared poorly on this front, being ranked the worst in the world behind Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria and Russia. Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan also rank in the bottom 10. Libya, Nigeria and Russia were the only non-Asian countries on the list, which also included the Philippines, Thailand and Afghanistan

Healthcare: Healthcare includes access to specialist doctors like optometrists and dentists with expertise in treating diseases and dealing with trauma. India was ranked the fourth worst on healthcare, only above Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.

Cultural traditions: It is this parameter that affected India’s position the most. India was ranked the worst country in the world for women as far as cultural traditions are concerned, even worse than Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The researchers examined cases of acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriages, forced marriages, stoning, physical abuse and mutilation as forms of punishment or retribution, as well as female infanticide.

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