The survey ranks India as more dangerous for women than war-torn Afghanistan and Syria, which came in second and third place, respectively. India is also seen as more dangerous for women than Somalia, which came fourth and has been mired in conflict since 1991, and Yemen, which came eighth and is suffering from an urgent humanitarian crisis.
A total of 548 global experts on women’s issues, 43 of whom are based in India, were asked questions relating to risks faced by women in six areas: healthcare, access to economic resources and discrimination, customary practices, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and human trafficking.
India came out worst overall, and specifically worst for women in human trafficking, sexual violence and in relation to cultural, religious and tribal traditions.
When the London-based philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters carried out the same poll in 2011, India was ranked fourth, ahead of Pakistan. This time Pakistan, in sixth place, was considered safer than India for women.
“There was an outcry in India after the 2012 Delhi gang rape, so you would have thought things would have improved, but that does not seem to be the case even though new laws have been introduced and more women are reporting sexual crimes,” said Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa.
In this poll, India ranked specifically as the most dangerous country for sexual violence against women, which included domestic rape, rape by a stranger, sexual harassment and the lack of access to justice in rape cases.