This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Divya agarwal. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

I Am An Indian Woman And I Am Not Happy About This Infamous Achievement

More from Divya agarwal

With galloping developments and reforms, we wish to top the charts as the most powerful country in the world. Also maybe, aspire to become the most versatile, multicultural or the friendliest country in the world. But is it actually happening? Are we even reaching anywhere near it? I don’t know and cannot comment on the financial or the economic front. While we have come a really long way since independence, we have unfortunately achieved the top position in being the most dangerous country in the world for women.

Recently, a Thompson Reuters survey ranked India as the most dangerous country for women. I have no doubts about this survey, looking at the recent happenings in the country which threaten women’s safety in a jiffy. I have a habit of reading newspapers and every day there is news about atrocities being inflicted on women. Reports of rape are the most common and most reported.

I love my country. I am not very patriotic but when it comes to my motherland, no one would dare to unnecessarily speak against it in front of me. But after this report, as an Indian and as a woman, I am scared and ashamed. I am scared to live in this country and I am ashamed that I am a citizen of such a dangerous nation.

I think India has always been a little vulnerable and a little unsafe. But it was after the Nirbhaya case, that the reality of women’s safety surfaced on a national level. It was after that horrific night of 16 December in 2012 that I really realized I need to be afraid every time I venture out of my house.

Whether it is in trains, or in a marketplace, in the night or in the day, the fear never leaves my subconscious mind. I always doubt whether I’d reach home safely at the end of every day. I think twice before stepping out when it’s dark, I cannot trust strangers and every person showing even a brief interest in me seems like a prospective perpetrator ready to take his chance. I am not overly paranoid but I am not carefree either.

The world has always been unsafe and unfair towards women. I have read plenty of books which give me a sense of women’s safety in Asian countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are deprived of basic rights and have to struggle for their safety in their daily lives. At these moments, I felt lucky to be part of a safe country like India. But this survey in which India outranks all these countries has startled me. Being the most dangerous country for women is not something we can be proud of.

I won’t say that nothing can be done to amend it, it is surely possible, but only if someone wants it to be amended. By someone I mean the authorities: the judiciary and the police. I feel that, any rape case unless focused by the media goes unnoticed and any woman who is not strong enough to stand for herself dies a million deaths every day after she is attacked.

If we wish to be the last on this list, we should be the first to take action against anyone who has proved to be a danger for women. India is a land where women are worshipped as goddesses, it should not be a country where young girls are afraid to be born.

We are responsible for this infamous achievement and it’s our duty to remove this dark stain from our image.


You must be to comment.
  1. sunny

    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-

    Gender inequality index. India is nowhere near the worst.Ranked 125 out of 159 countries

    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

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

    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.

More from Divya agarwal

Similar Posts

By Anmona Handique

By Jagisha Arora

By Nishtha Gupta

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below