(DW) India is the world’s most dangerous nation for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and regressive traditions, said a new study. Activists disagree with its methodology, but agree that gender crimes are up.
Repeated instances of brutal and horrific sexual crimes in India have often grabbed global headlines over the past several years. They have spurred a far-reaching debate about the safety of women and deeply entrenched patriarchal tendencies in the world’s second-most populous nation.
They have forced the Indian government to tighten laws on sexual assault and trafficking, and take measures to ensure women’s safety in both domestic and public spaces.
These measures, apparently, haven’t brought about the desired change, as revealed by a new poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. It concluded that India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor.
The results were based on a survey of 550 experts on women’s issues across the world, including academics, health workers, policymakers and NGO workers. The experts were asked to consider parameters like sexual and non-sexual violence, human trafficking, cultural traditions, healthcare and discrimination.
Embarrassingly for India, it emerged in this survey as the most dangerous place for women due to the high risk of sexual violence against them, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labor, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.
In the same survey seven years ago, India was the fourth most dangerous country for women. But this time around, India fared even worse than places like war-torn Afghanistan and Syria, which ranked second and third on the list.
India was also the most dangerous country in the world for retrograde cultural practices that impact women, the survey said, pointing to issues like female genital mutilation, acid attacks and child marriage.