India is the world’s most dangerous country to be a woman
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India is the world’s most dangerous country to be a woman

INDIA is the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the prevalence of sexual violence and high risk of being forced into slave labour, a recent poll of global experts has found.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey, released Tuesday, ranked war-torn Afghanistan and Syria second and third, followed by Somalia and Saudi Arabia.

The organisation surveyed nearly 550 experts focused on women’s issues, asking them to rank countries based on a number of key issues, including access to healthcare, prevalence of sexual abuse and discrimination.

The United States ranked tenth.

India took the top spot as it was considered the most dangerous on three of the topic questions.

These were the risk of sexual violence and harassment against women, as well as being the country where women are most in danger of human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude.

The third risk is the danger women face from cultural, tribal and traditional practices, citing acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse.

The last time the survey was conducted seven years ago, India was considered the fourth most dangerous country for women.

SEE ALSO: India: 240,000 girls die annually due to gender discrimination

The release of the report comes amid mounting public outrage in India, where a series of high-profile rape cases, including two unrelated attacks on girls aged 16 and eight, have forced the issue of sexual violence back onto the national agenda.

India’s opposition leader Rahul Gandhi launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday following the release of the report.

“While our PM tiptoes around his garden making yoga videos, India leads Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia in rape and violence against women!” Gandhi tweeted, referring to a video that Modi posted in May, accepting a fitness challenge.

“What a shame for our country!” said the Congress party chief.

The full top ten is as follows:

  1. India
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Syria
  4. Somalia
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. Pakistan
  7. DRC
  8. Yemen
  9. Nigeria
  10. United States

The US is the only western nation to appear in the top 10. The country shot up in the rankings after tying joint third with Syria for sexual violence against women.

Respondents ranked the US poorly on instances of rape, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and the lack of access to justice in rape cases.

It was ranked sixth for non-sexual violence.

The report directly references the #MeToo movement that highlighted the pervasive nature of sexual harassment in America. The survey was conducted after the movement went viral.

Almost one in five women have been raped, and more than one in three experienced rape, violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the US, according to 2012 statistics from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Experts said India moving to the top of poll showed not enough was being done to tackle the danger women faced, more than five years after the rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi made violence against women a national priority.

“India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women … rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated,” Karnataka government official, Manjunath Gangadhara, told Thomson Reuters.

“The (world’s) fastest growing economy and leader in space and technology is shamed for violence committed against women.”