Dubai: India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman, says a new international survey. Indian Twitter users can’t stop talking about this.
On Tuesday, the Thomson Reuters Foundation released the results of a survey of 550 experts on women’s issues. It found India to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.
Thomson Reuters Foundation News tweeted through their official handle @AlertNet: “‘The way they look at girls. The way they check you out. The way they follow you. It’s kind of disgusting.’ Women in India share their stories as our poll finds the country is the world’s most dangerous for females.”
"The way they look at girls. The way they check you out. The way they follow you. It's kind of disgusting."— Thomson Reuters Foundation News (@AlertNet) June 26, 2018
Women in India share their stories as our poll finds the country is the world's most dangerous for females. Read more on this here: https://t.co/0EoZ6E6Xrl #WorseForWomen pic.twitter.com/dAIBeAfo4l
@RahulGandhi: “While our PM (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) tiptoes around his garden making Yoga videos, India leads ... in rape and violence against women. What a shame for our country!”
In half an hour the tweet had over 2,000 retweets and more than 4,000 likes. Tweeps like @vidya7281 agreed with Gandhi. She posted: “Great achievement of Modi. #Modified India with Bhakts (right-wing Hindutva ideologists) regimes. India tops most dangerous countries for women.”
However, Gandhi’s comment did not go down well with all Indians. Many pointed out that issue goes beyond politics. They reminded him about the heart-wrenching Nirbhaya case - on December 16, 2012, six people, including a juvenile, brutally assaulted and raped a 23-year-old paramedic student in a moving bus in South Delhi. The victim and her male friend were later thrown off the bus. Thirteen days later, the victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. The incident led to an outpour of anger and grief by millions across the country demanding greater protection for women from sexual violence. This is when Congress was in power.
Tweep @Shikhak68605731 posted: “Sir, I think nirbhaya happened during your government. Please don’t make this social evil connected to any particular party. This is a crime against women. I urge all to unite against this heinous crime. Don’t make it personal, this is a social cancer and is increasing day by day.”
Twitter user @biswajit115 posted: “Who is realy responsible for this you or Modi? After 60 years of your (Congress) rule and 10 years of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) rule, no strong laws against rape, criminals out in bail and roaming free, then how do we expect a safe India? Why you don’t do anything when your party in power?”
The four convicts of the Nirbhaya case were awarded death sentence by the High Court but the accused have not been hanged, yet. The fifth accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in jail. And, the juvenile accused has been released after completing mandatory probation period in a remand home.
In April, Tweep @shasanchhabra99 like many others posted: “Severe punishment to a juvenile? In a rarest of rare Nirbhaya case, convict was given Rs10000, a sewing machine and rehabilitation package as punishment.”
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), in November 2017, issued a notice to Tihar Jail Administration and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South District, questioning the delay in execution of death penalty to rapists.
Nearly six years after Nirbhaya, not much seems to have changed in India. The Reuters report cites statistics from India’s National Crime Records Bureau, which records that there is a rape almost every 20 minutes in India, and a crime against women every three minutes.
However, some have raised concerns about the Reuters survey report. @animeshkatyayan posted: “India only got famous for women safety because of campaigns for them like nirbhaya. Most of countries have abnormally high cases of violence against women but they never get reported. This is not the case with India but the west thinks it can downgrade us because we are improving.”
And tweep @priya_ebooks added that the patriarchal system was to blame: “Men do terrible things to women the world over, for personal as well as political reasons. The real difference is that in India, their fearlessness is enabled by something that mere punitive justice cannot uproot from this old and vicious patriarchy.”
The survey report additionally states that India is also the most dangerous country in the world for cultural traditions that impact women and cited acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse cases.
Voices across the political and social spectrum in India have been expressing a sense of urgency in addressing the malaise of rape and its complex socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political dimensions. In February, Gulf News spoke to experts to weigh in on what can be done to address the complex problem of rape. And many of them asked for stricter laws.
Tweep @KishanAnanthram posted: “Fellow Indians! Let’s change this perception by changing the reality. Let’s make India safe for women... Together, we can make this happen.”