In what has come as a major embarrassment for the government, a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of around 550 global experts on women’s issues has ranked India as the world’s most dangerous country for women. India has got this dubious ranking due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour.
If the foundation’s own survey last done in 2011 is taken as a benchmark, India who ranked fourth behind Pakistan has taken the top spot this time, showing that the country’s record towards improving women’s safety has only deteriorated over the years.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi lashed out against the government who tweeted –
While our PM tiptoes around his garden making Yoga videos, India leads Afghanistan, Syria & Saudi Arabia in rape & violence against women. What a shame for our country! https://t.co/Ba8ZiwC0ad
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 26, 2018
However, the National Commission for Women (NCW) rejected the report saying that the sample size was small and not representative of the country with a population of 1.3 billion. Rekha Sharma – Acting Chairperson of NCW said, “Women in India are aware of their legal rights and the procedure and method of access to the legal system more than ever before. Some of the countries that have been ranked after India have women who are not even allowed to speak in public”. Below is the press release by NCW.
According to NDTV, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has also rejected the report.
Women and Child Development Ministry rejects Thomson Reuters Foundation survey about India being the most dangerous country in the world for women
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 26, 2018
Here are the 7 top points that you need to know about the poll –
1) The report is based on a a global perception poll of experts in women’s issues conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation to find the 10 most dangerous countries for women. A similar survey was conducted in 2011 to find the five most dangerous countries for women in the world.
2) India was named as the most dangerous country for women in the poll released on June 26, 2018. The 10 countries are – 1) India 2) Afghanistan 3) Syria 4) Somalia 5) Saudi Arabia 6) Pakistan 7) Democratic Republic of Congo 8) Yemen 9) Nigeria 10) USA
India featured 4th in the the 2011 list – Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia.
3) The sample size for the 2018 poll was 548 experts dealing with women’s issues which included aid and development professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organisation workers, journalists, and social commentators.
4) The poll aimed at finding 10 worst countries among 193 – all United Nation Members – in 6 areas where women face issues. They are – 1) Health care 2) Access to economic resources / discrimination 3) Cultural/ tribal/ religious or customary practices 4) Sexual violence and harassment 5) Non-sexual violence 6) Human Trafficking
5) The respondents were asked 7 questions. First one was to name the five most dangerous countries for women. And, the rest of the question asked the respondent to name the worst country in terms of the six categories mentioned above. The first question accounted for 1/4th of the overall score and the rest accounted for 3/4th of the score.
6) India is the worst country in three categories – cultural traditions, sexual violence and human trafficking. India is the 5th worst country in terms of health care, 3rd worst country in the categories of discrimination and non-sexual violence.
7) The report referred to India as ‘most dangerous country for women with sexual violence rife’. The report said that India moving to the top of the poll shows that not enough steps have been taken to protect women despite the issue of violence against women becoming a priority after the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case. Citing government data, the report said that crime against women increased by 83 percent between 2007 and 2016, and that four cases of rape are reported every hour in the country.
Note: The story has been edited to include the press release of the National Commission for Women.