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India

Why India must go to war against rape and sexual violence

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 9:03pm

The Thomson Reuters Foundation, in its latest study, has categorised India as the most hazardous country for women based on statistics for sexual violence, forced marriage, sexual slavery and forced labour (“India most dangerous country for women as sexual violence is rife, says global poll”, June 26).

India has been grouped together with countries like war-torn Afghanistan and Syria, which ranked second and third, followed by Somalia and Saudi Arabia, according to the survey of 550 experts on women’s issues.

This is really unfortunate. A higher number of women are becoming literate, pursuing higher education, becoming doctors, engineers, ministers and governors in India. India has had a woman prime minister and president. Yet, at the ground level, particularly in the villages and slums, a sad state of affairs prevails.

In India, death for anyone guilty of raping children under 12

The high number of rapes also impacts tourism to the country very adversely. According to a media report, tourism dropped sharply in India after the brutal rape of a girl in a moving bus in New Delhi, a few years ago. India was ranked fourth on Forbes list of the 10 most dangerous places in the world for solo women travellers last July, with sexual assault cited as one of the reasons.

It is clear that we need higher levels of education, public consciousness and law enforcement to ensure that women are not ill-treated in India.

Rajendra Aneja, Mumbai