Four women are being raped every hour in India making it the world’s most dangerous country for women.
The latest poll of global experts released on Tuesday confirms India’s notoriety for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and the continuing reality of slave labor. Despite being a democratic country, India infamously ranks higher than war-torn Afghanistan and Syria which ranked second and third respectively in the Thomas Reuters Foundation survey of about 550 experts on women’s issues. Coming in fourth and fifth places are Somalia and Saudi Arabia.
The Thomas Reuters Foundation poll was a repeat of the survey in 2011 where India ranked fourth then as the country where women were most at risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex, behind Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan.
More than five years ago, India was rocked by the shocking rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi. Such dastardly crime propelled the issue of violence against women to become a national priority. Experts said the results of the latest survey, however, which saw India moving to the top of the poll showed not enough was being accomplished to tackle the problems and challenges facing women in the said Asian country.
Manjunath Gangadhara, an official at the Karnataka state government said: 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.”
India also ranked in the same poll as the most dangerous country for women in terms of human trafficking, including sex slavery and domestic servitude, and for customary practices such as forced marriage, stoning, and female infanticide.
State data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by 83 percent between 2007 and 2016 when there were four cases of rape reported every hour.
The U.S. is the only western country in the top 10 which ranked joint third when respondents were asked where women were most at risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex.
Experts said the addition of the United States in the top 10 most dangerous countries for women has been put down to high-profile campaigns against sexual harassment that dominated headlines for months.