After the massive outcry five years ago when a student was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, you would think that things could only have improved in India. Far from it, India is now the most dangerous country for women to live in, according to a perception poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which had previously ranked it the 4th most dangerous country seven years ago. So, why are things getting worse in the world’s largest democracy?
This is not a nation stricken by war, nor the poorest in the world by a long shot. But when it comes to addressing the risks faced by women who live there, it is seen by experts as being worse than Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo – all of which are countries ravaged by conflict, corruption, poverty and disease. This perception is backed by statistics from India’s National Crime Records Bureau, which records that there is a rape almost every 20 minutes in India, and a crime against women every three minutes.
What a terrible paradox, that a country which has done much over the past few decades towards empowering women through economic progress, education, social mobility and employment opportunity, is at the same time perceived as a country where women risk their health and their lives daily, and where gender-based violence has reached pandemic proportions.
Although new laws have been introduce...