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Our Reaction To The Thomson Reuters Survey Shows Exactly Why India Isn’t Safe For Women

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On Tuesday, the Thomson Reuters Foundation declared India to be the most dangerous country for women. Like all times, the intolerance in our blood boiled to an extent that even the Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) needed to react to it (on behalf of the Centre) to make up for the tarnished image of the country. I wonder what the hassle is all about, when it clearly concerns not the government but the ideology brewing in the nation.

The WCD says that the report isn’t accurate – and that the methodology isn’t right as it only considers the opinions of 548 experts on women’s issues. I wonder where this logic was, when, back in 2013, the same Reuters Foundation declared India to be the fourth-most unsafe country for women. Or were the blindfolds of politics too tight to open their eyes to the reality?

But I guess, back then, it was the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) who laid their claim on this information and used it, ostensibly, to bring down the UPA II government. Just as Rahul Gandhi tweeted his ‘not-so-concerned’ concern on Tuesday, five years back, it was our current PM Narendra Modi who stood on the other side of the fence expressing deep regret on the same issue.

I wonder where this concern vanished when the ball lay in his court. While obsessing over ‘fake’ meet-ups and yoga sessions, why don’t the PM’s social media profiles speak much about the real issues? Moreover, going by the surveys, hasn’t the situation in India actually taken a turn for the worse under the BJP – from the fourth-lowest position to the absolute lowest?

However, I won’t say that the government alone is responsible, because I believe it’s the nation’s people who bring such depressing realities upon themselves. However, the kind of an ideologies brewing in our nation today is indeed a matter of serious concern.

On one hand, a ministry has declared that this survey hasn’t been conducted on appropriate/accurate parameters. On the other, the ministers of the party issue comments about rape like “This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong.”  And this isn’t just about one minister – a lot of them who have given controversial statements about rape and rapists. But none of them offer support to the women. Rather, they seek to justify this heinous act. Neither is it about one party. It’s about the nation I live in – and I am ashamed.

The government also seems to be encouraging the wrongdoers by not punishing or questioning them. Instead, they are silently watching these incidents and often ignoring these issues. It is this silence and ignorance that’s led to these statistics. So, why do we suddenly feel offended about it?

Recently, a columnist wrote against the government and how the Thomson Reuters Report is, in fact, an outcome of the ideology that women are to be seen as an object of pleasure. And yet, there’s no one to punish or stand up and say to those men that they are wrong. There were these ‘Bhakts’ who tried to highlight how Prerna Bakshi was wrong in her views on our country. But the way in which they tried to highlight this point made me wonder if they were really defending themselves or, ironically, proving the point made by the report. The language, pictures and thoughts directed to Prerna were not only absurd but also regressive and disgusting. Had I been in her shoes, I would’ve been compelled to take the post down. But then, the people wouldn’t have changed, and neither would the state of the country.

Prerna isn’t the only woman who has faced this for holding an opinion. In the past too, Gurmehar Kaur and a lot of women like her, who held strong opinions and voiced them (in an effort to be heard), have been trolled, called names and abused to an extent that it would be normal for them to not wish to walk out of their homes – forget being alone on the streets.

I am a girl living in Delhi in the 21st century. I am 19 years old – and yet my ‘curfew hour’ remains unchanged at 7 PM. I live in a country where ‘werewolves’ still hunt for prey, with no one to listen to your screams. Even though the report may not have been substantial with the appropriate evidences, yet there is no denying that the country is unsafe for women because they are still expected to dress and live right without ‘inviting’ danger. The greatest tragedy in all this is that the sons are not taught to think and behave right.

Created by Manvi Singh

Living in India, as a woman, do you feel completely safe to walk out of your house alone post 9PM?

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Representative image used for representative purposes only.

Featured image source: Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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  1. sunny

    Author discusses about views of some right wing trolls and adjourn India worst based on that and say that proves India is most unsafe. Yes India is unsafe but its not fair to say its most unsafe. Opinion of some right wing trolls does not represent entire country. if they are using foul language, that proves they are most unsafe for women and to be honest they do same to men also who disagree with them, but poll did not said “right wing trolls are most unsafe for women” but India is most unsafe for women. It is also very wrong to say anyone who criticize poll is supporter of some party or radical nationalist. I have seen many people speaking against the methodology of poll.Even Shashi Tharoor said he does not agree with poll, so he is also a bhakt or radical nationalist. I have seen several left wing feminists speaking against the poll

    Perception polls are not real studies. They can be impacted by different factors such as political views of “experts” surveyed, how media reports about some issue in one particular nation, media

    coverage impact perception, , global knowledge of “experts”, can they even tell name of 193 UN members”, bias against or in favour of one particular country etc.

    Thomson reyters perception poll said India is worst country for women. Some months back another suvey said India have highest level of gender equality in world. It was done by IPSOS.23

    countries were included According to that, 72 percent of people surveyed in India says India have gender equality, and 68 percent women also said India have gender equality.India have highest

    gender equality according to perception poll of IPSOS.

    I have included the article about the poll written by The Guardian.Article mentions perception wise India have highest gender equality but perception does not match reality as according to gender

    inequality index which is based on data and not perception,India was worst among 23 countries surveyed.

    Gender inequality index rank India worst out of 23 countries included in IPSOS, but overall India is not ranked worst but ranked 125 out of 188 countries. gender inequality index is part of human

    development report. Human development report have 188 countries but Data of gender equality is avilable only for 159 countries , Yemen is ranked worst at 159.

    But if perception polls or surveys are considered, India is both worst and best country according to different polls.
    PS- I am not saying India is safe for women. Topic is not that. Topic is India is most unsafe and I have problem with that.

    Guardian article about IPSOS perception poll-
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/29/women-inequality-survey

    Gender inequality index. India is nowhere near the worst.Ranked 125 out of 159 countries
    http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/GII

    Worst countries for women according to World economic form global gender gap report 2016.Adding some articles about that study and its more reliabe than perception polls because it gives data

    about different issues and parameters related to women.Yemen was ranked worst in that

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/mapped-the-best-and-worst-countries-for-gender-equality/

    https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/world-economic-forum-maps-worst-countries-gender-equality/

    http://ceoworld.biz/2018/03/09/these-are-the-worlds-20-worst-countries-for-women-in-2017/

    Worst countries for women according to Women, security, peace index

    http://www.thisisinsider.com/worst-countries-for-women-2018-3

    Different studies give different results. But media in India is showing a lot about poll that said India is most dangerous but rarely talks studies that did not put India nowhere near the worst.So most

    people are not aware of those studies, even though they are more reliable in my opinion because they are not based on view some people but gives data about different parameters.Its wrong to say India is most dangerous only because one

    survey said, there are many that did not said India is worst.

    1. Manvi Singh

      Sir, in case you didn’t read it right, it’s not about the report it’s about the way a woman feels in this country. I expressed my views and here you are. Gurmehar Kaur expressed her views and country is still after her. Prerna Bakshi commented her views and can you see the level of disgrace they bring in for a woman. Had it been someone you know, would you have still given in such links to prove them wrong, to say that it’s not like it’s not safe, it’s just not right to call it the most unsafe.
      I wonder what the problem is for you that “India was tagged as the most unsafe of woman,” or the fact that it is unsafe and just not the most extreme level of it?
      We all know how legit this government data is because I know people who collect it and evaluate it and to be honest, they have admitted that they do mould it as per the desires of the situation. So, do not quote me data which I won’t find legit.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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