India has been ranked as the most dangerous country out of the world’s 10 worst countries for women, behind Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, according to a poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The same poll conducted in 2011 had placed India at the fourth place. The findings are based on perceptions of experts on women’s issues.
India was followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nigeria and U.S.A — in that order.
“The world’s second most populous nation, with 1.3 billion people, ranked as the most dangerous on three of the topic questions — the risk of sexual violence and harassment against women, the danger women face from cultural, tribal and traditional practices, and the country where women are most in danger of human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude,” according to the Foundation.
A shame: Rahul
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “While our PM tiptoes around his garden making Yoga videos, India leads Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia in rape and violence against women. What a shame for our country.”
A source in the Ministry of Women and Child Development said that the survey is not based on scientific findings The question on cultural practices targeting women included offences such as infanticide, acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage, forced marriage, physical abuse or mutilation as a form of punishment.
The other category in which India ranked the worst was sexual violence which comprised rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape, rape by a stranger, lack of access to justice in rape cases, sexual harassment and coercion into sex as a form of corruption.
Respondents were asked to name the five most dangerous countries for women and then asked to name the worst country under six different categories.
Respondents included academics, aid and development professionals, health workers, policy makers, NGO workers, journalists and social commentators.