A Survey Suggests that India could be the Most Dangerous Country for Women
Joy Sawhney | On 04, Jul 2018
The Thomas Reuters Foundation, a group, concerned with reporting on humanitarian issues, has this year declared India as the most dangerous country for women to reside in.
Concentrating on the six key areas of healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual violence, non-sexual violence and human trafficking, the foundation decided that the women of India have the most to fear on a daily basis. According to the survey, the country is followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nigeria and The United States of America in that order.
The decision was made due to some widely used cultural practices including arranged or forced marriage, cruel and unusual punishment including stoning, genital mutilation and a string of acid attacks targeted at women. Further, high rates of domestic violence, mental abuse and sexual violence have been recorded in recent years. Other factors that contributed to the foundation’s eventual decision were a general lack of access to healthcare, difficulty in obtaining an education, discrimination about finding work and discriminatory property and inheritance rights. Although India was not ranked the worst in each aforementioned area, the results were calculated by taking note of each nation’s placement in every list.
In regards to the method that the Thomas Reuters Foundation adopted to come to this conclusion, they spoke with five-hundred and forty-eight experts worldwide who specialise in women’s right. These experts included academics, health workers, journalists, social commentators and policymakers. To ensure that their results lacked as much bias as possible, the foundation ensured that these experts resided in various geographical locations such as Europe, South-East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Africa and Pacific.
These issues have been brought to light to the people of India, who on April 15, held a protest to put a stop to violence against women- thousands partook in the political event. Crimes of a violent and sexual nature have been on the rise in India since 2013, and despite stricter laws being put in place in response to this, the societal issue has not improved.
Throughout India, blame has been placed on the nationalistic ruling party headed by Ram Nath Kovind, who initially showed support for the accused in the ‘Kathua rape case’ which involved the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl. Many civilians of India believe that, when a political party subtly implies that crimes of these nature are forgivable and the accused can be protected, that creates a systemic societal issue.
Quite like the aforementioned protest, many Indians continue to voice their disdain for the treatment of women in their country, and this support and recognition throughout society is growing stronger by the day. If this trend continues, and those voices are heard, there is hope that the women of India will enjoy a safer, more freeing quality of life in the near future.