Hyderabad: In 2011, India was ranked fourth in the list of the world’s most dangerous countries.
However, in 2018, it has beaten Afghanistan and even Syria, two war stricken countries, to top the list, making it the most unsafe country for women. Women repeatedly succumb to sexual violence, female infanticide, genital mutilation and other forms of violence, with low access to healthcare and even education.
Ranked “Worst” on all four indicators, which are, Cultural practices, Sexual violence, Economic Opportunities and Education, India has seen an increase of 83 per cent in crimes against women across the country.
However, Delhi has found special mention in the report and is still touted as the “rape capital” of the country. Other metro cities have also not fared well with countless complaints of groping, abuse, rape, molestation and other abuses.
However, the National Commission at Delhi refutes the report saying that such a shocking result “cannot” be true.
Tripurana Venkataratnam, the adviser to the National Commission for Women says “We have widely discussed the report and it cannot be based on facts. Although we admit that violence against women prevails, we cannot beat countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. We are reeling under patriarchy and other cultural practices but every other kind of violence against women is the same throughout the world.”
She further stated that people expected the number of crimes against women to come down after the 2010 Nirbhaya incident, however, it did not happen.
“There are more crimes being committed and the videos of these crimes are even uploaded on social media. We need to work a lot more on our laws and policies, however, we do not deserve to top the list,” she said.
Many other women have refuted her statement by saying that disbelief will not help in the progress of the nation.
Sunitha Krishnan, an anti-trafficking crusader and Padma Shri awardee says, “To change the mindset of people, we should address the problems dealt by women from a young age. There needs to be an addition in the curriculum at a school level that teaches respect and questions cultural practices against women.”
“The increasing sexual violence in India is reaching an epidemic level. We should stop ostracising, shaming and stigmatising victims. We have a long way to go in addressing our redressal mechanisms. Unless we create a fear in the perpetrator and show that our judicial system will not side with the accused, we cannot guarantee safety,” says Sunitha Krishnan.
Andhra Pradesh Women’s Commission Chairperson Nannapaneni Rajakumari says “Even though there are several campaigns against infanticide and abuse and also the Beti Bachao campaign, women continue to suffer because of the mindset of society. We need to find the actual cause and find remedies and take up preventative steps such as a faster judicial process for perpetrators.”
“In many rape cases, the accused are close family members and, therefore, victims hesitate to complain and fearing the death penalty, most perpetrators also kill the victims. The word victim should not be encouraged in rape cases because the girl doesn’t lose her honour. The accused should be shamed,” Nannapaneni Rajakumari added....