India has become the most dangerous country in the world for women, even worse than the war-torn Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation published on Tuesday.
The survey ranks India as more dangerous for women, worse than even strife-torn Afghanistan and Syria, which came in second and third place, respectively.
India is seen more dangerous for women than even Somalia, which came fourth and has been mired in conflict since 1991, and Yemen, which came eighth and is suffering from an urgent humanitarian crisis.
A total of 548 global experts on women’s issues, 43 of whom are based in India, were asked questions related to risks faced by women in six areas: healthcare, access to economic resources and discrimination, customary practices, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and human trafficking.
India is the only country to feature in the top five rankings for each of the six categories looked at by the poll, never registering lower than the fourth place.
“When only 10% of women in India own land compared to 20% globally, femicide rates are the highest in the world, there are 37 million more men than women in the Indian population, and 27% girls are married before the age of 18 – also the highest rate in the world- you begin to understand the reality in India,” Monique Villa, chief executive officer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, was quoted by IndiaSpend.
Back in 2011, when the London-based philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters carried out the same poll, India was ranked fourth, ahead of Pakistan. This time even Pakistan, in sixth place, was considered safer than India for women.
“There was an outcry in India after the 2012 Delhi gang rape, so you would have thought things would have improved, but that does not seem to be the case even though new laws have been introduced and more women are reporting sexual crimes,” said Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa.
The Congress party president Rahul Gandhi took to twitter to condemn the situation and attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “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!”
In the poll, India ranked specifically as the most dangerous country for sexual violence against women, which included domestic rape, rape by a stranger, sexual harassment and the lack of access to justice in rape cases.