We MAY not be the worst, but we ARE worsening; and the world has noticed.
Is India Really the most unsafe nation for women in the entire world??? According to a recent Thomson Reuters report- Yes. We. Are.
We can take away two things from this report.
1. Certain liberties are taken with facts here
2. We may not be the worst, but we’re definitely on the list.
Sure the crimes against women are appallingly high in this country. But to say that we’re worse than countries where women aren’t given rights?? For example:
Saudi Women just got the right to drive, but here’s some things they still can’t do:
- Travel, Marry, Divorce without a male guardian.
- Be in public without a full length black Abaya
- Retain custody of their child after divorce
- “The legal position in Saudi Arabia of a woman is equal to that of a minor, and therefore she has little authority over her own life.” [source:CNN]
These laws in many middle Eastern and African countries deny a woman of her basic fundamental rights. Isn’t that is a crime in itself? In a country where a woman’s freedoms are curtailed, how can we be certain her right to complain isn’t curbed too?
Another thing I noticed is that the #METOO movement heavily influenced US position on this list. This leads us to believe that this report is based on global perception and not on hard stats.
But this observation is no excuse to give ourselves a pat on the back. “Hey at least we’re not the worst” is no attitude towards a serious problem. We may not be the worst, but we are worsening. Crimes against women are up 83%, but conviction rate has hit a record low of 18.9% [Source:TOI].
Seeing these stats, it’s no surprise the world sees us as the worst. Especially considering that one of our greatest contributions to modern internet culture is the “Send Bob and Vagene pics” meme.
It may sound funny. But that is how they perceive us. They think we’re all online trolls trying to harass white girls. We Indians love to deny any criticism from outside. However we must realise that this perception WILL affect our global standings. It will affect us every time a tourist decides to travel elsewhere. It will affect every Indian living abroad, feeling uncomfortable as others look at him in misguided disgust. We need to be more introspective, and we need to accept the glaring faults right in front of us. Otherwise we may as well accept that we’re #1 in something for once.