A survey by the Thomas Reuters Foundation has revealed that India has been ranked as the world’s most dangerous country for women, with the US also in the top 10 slot.
Almost one in five women have been raped, and more than one in three experienced rape, violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the US, according to 2010 statistics by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bypassing war-torn Afghanistan and Syria, the rank places India at a tight spot because of an increased risk of sexual violence and forcible slave labor.
Indian Government data has revealed that four cases are reported each hour, with crime against women rising upto 83% between 2007-2016. Cases of crimes against women, including rape, sexual assault, acid attacks, and dowry deaths, rose by nearly 40% to 338,954 between 2012 and 2016, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Reuters reported that in a poll of 550 experts, the US was jointly ranked 10th place when the respondents were inquired about where women were at most risk for sexual violence, being coerced into sex and harassment.
Thomas Reuters Foundation pointed out that the survey was conducted after the #MeToo movement went viral last year after several women accused prominent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse.
Weinstein has since pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges.
#MeToo has since grown into a global movement against sexual violence against women, with many exposing the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse in the workspace worldwide.
The poll was a repeat of a 2011 survey that saw Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia as the most dangerous countries for women. Respondents put India in the first rank in terms of human trafficking, sex slavery, domestic servitude, and for traditional practices such as forced marriage, stoning and female infanticide.
The questions asked ranged across economic resources, healthcare, cultural or traditional practices, non-sexual violence and human trafficking and sexual harassment and violence.
The results of the poll come just a few months after two gruesome child rape cases captured national and international attention, highlighting another worrying trend of surging sexual violence against minors.
Human trafficking poses yet another challenge. Some 15,000 such cases were recorded in India in 2016, and two-thirds involved female victims, many under the age of 18, sold into sex work or domestic servitude. Only last week, five activists who had performed a street play to raise awareness about trafficking were reportedly raped at gunpoint in the state of Jharkhand.
A Karnataka government official, Manjunath Gangadhara quoted in the report, “India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated. The (world’s) fastest growing economy and leader in space and technology is shamed for violence committed against women.”
Reuters has also reported that the Bjp women minster headed by Menaka 's Ministry of Women and Child Development has declined to comment.