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India 4th most dangerous country in the world for women

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Sid, Jun 15, 2011.

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  1. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Female foeticide, infanticide and human trafficking make India the world's 4th most dangerous country for women, with Afghanistan's violence and poverty taking it to the top spot, followed by Congo due to horrific levels of rape, a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll said on Wednesday.

    Pakistan and Somalia ranked third and fifth, respectively, in the global survey of perceptions of threats ranging from domestic abuse and economic discrimination to female foeticide, genital mutilation and acid attacks.

    "Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women," said Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, a group that supports women social entrepreneurs around the world. "In addition, women who do attempt to speak out or take on public roles that challenge ingrained gender stereotypes of what's acceptable for women to do or not, such as working as policewomen or news broadcasters, are often intimidated or killed."

    The poll by TrustLaw (TrustLaw - A Thomson Reuters Foundation Service - TrustLaw), a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation, marked the launch of its new TrustLaw Women section, a global hub of news and information on women's legal rights. TrustLaw asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions of danger as well as by six risks.

    The risks were health threats, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, cultural or religious factors, lack of access to resources and trafficking.

    Some experts said the poll showed that subtle dangers such as discrimination that don't grab headlines are sometimes just as significant risks for women as bombs, bullets, stonings and systematic rape in conflict zones. "I think you have to look at all the dangers to women, all the risks women and girls face," said Elisabeth Roesch, who works on gender-based violence for the International Rescue Committee in Washington.

    "If a woman can't access healthcare because her healthcare isn't prioritised, that can be a very dangerous situation as well."

    Litany of perils

    Afghanistan emerged as the most dangerous country for women overall and worst in three of the six risk categories: health, non-sexual violence and lack of access to economic resources. Respondents cited sky-high maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a near total lack of economic rights.

    Afghan women have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth, according to UNICEF.

    Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), still reeling from a 1998-2003 war and accompanying humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4 million people, came second mainly due to staggering levels of sexual violence in the lawless east. More than 400,000 women are raped in the country each year, according to a recent study by US researchers.

    The United Nations has called Congo the rape capital of the world. "Statistics from DRC are very revealing on this: ongoing war, use of rape as a weapon, recruitment of females as soldiers who are also used as sex slaves," said Clementina Cantoni, a Pakistan-based aid worker with ECHO, the European Commission's humanitarian aid department.

    "The fact that the government is corrupt and that female rights are very low on the agenda means that there is little or no recourse to justice." Rights activists say militia groups and soldiers target all ages, including girls as young as three and elderly women. They are gang-raped, raped with bayonets and have guns shot into their vaginas.

    Pakistan ranked third largely on the basis of cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women. These include acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse. "Pakistan has some of the highest rates of dowry murder, so-called honour killings and early marriage," said Divya Bajpai, reproductive health advisor at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

    Some 1,000 women and girls die in honour killings annually, according to Pakistan's Human Rights Commission.

    Trafficking

    India ranked fourth primarily due to female foeticide, infanticide and human trafficking. In 2009, India's then home secretary Madhukar Gupta estimated that 100 million people, mostly women and girls, were involved in trafficking in India that year.

    "The practice is common but lucrative so it goes untouched by government and police," said Cristi Hegranes, founder of the Global Press institute, which trains women in developing countries to be journalists.

    India's Central Bureau of Investigation estimated that in 2009 about 90% of trafficking took place within the country and that there were some 3 million prostitutes, of which about 40% were children.

    In addition to sex slavery, other forms of trafficking include forced labour and forced marriage, according to a US State Department report on trafficking in 2010. The report also found slow progress in criminal prosecutions of traffickers.

    Up to 50 million girls are thought to be "missing" over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide, the UN Population Fund says. Some experts said the world's largest democracy was relatively forthcoming about describing its problems, possibly casting it in a darker light than if other countries were equally transparent about trafficking.

    Somalia ranked fifth due to a catalogue of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape and female genital mutilation, along with limited access to education, healthcare and economic resources.

    "I'm completely surprised because I thought Somalia would be first on the list, not fifth," Somali women's minister Maryan Qasim told TrustLaw. "The most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia can do is to become pregnant. When a woman becomes pregnant her life is 50-50 because there is no antenatal care at all. There are no hospitals, no healthcare, no nothing."

    "Add to that the rape cases that happen on a daily basis, the female genital mutilation that is being done to every single girl in Somalia. Add to that the famine and the drought. Add to that the fighting (which means) you can die any minute, any day."

    Poll respondents included aid professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, journalists and development specialists.

    India 4th most dangerous country in the world for women - Hindustan Times
     
  2. GUNS-N- ROSES

    GUNS-N- ROSES Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    i totally agree with this report. we have lot more to do in terms of women upliftment. female foeticide is still rampant in most parts of the country.

    delhi which is capitol is not at all safe for women in the night. while i wd say some progress has been made but plenty of work is still required to be done. i say following steps need to be taken on priority:

    1. Legalise prostitution. that will stop and put and end to female trafficking especially teenage girls.

    2. increase punishment for eve teasing or harrassement. pronounce judgements swiftly.

    3. increase number of female constable in each police station so that a woman can tell her plight in a comfortable way.

    4. Increase patrolling in night in and around "disturbed areas".

    5. curb menace of female foeticide. improve awareness among married couples. hospitals to be made integral in tackling menace. if a doctor or hospital indulges in such thing, cancel the licence and file case for murder.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Sad to see India sandwiched between two 'failed' states. :(
     
  4. Keith Vital

    Keith Vital FULL MEMBER

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    That is unfortunate to hear. You would think that with a history of past and present women like Indira and Sonia Ghandhi, women would be in a better situation. Mawatti is a fairly tough lady, she could use her bully pulpit for social change too. Just a thought.
     
  5. simplystupid

    simplystupid Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    yeah we have many of them who are like me.. in this aspect...even though i hate that happening
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  6. simplystupid

    simplystupid Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    NEW DELHI, June 15 (TrustLaw) - South Asia may boast a number of women leaders and be home to cultures that revere motherhood and worship female deities, but many women live with the threat of appalling violence and without many basic rights.

    From forced marriages in Afghanistan and "honor killings" in Pakistan to feticide in India and trafficking in Nepal, South Asian women face a barrage of dangers, experts say, but add growing awareness, better laws and economic empowerment are bringing a slow change in attitudes.

    "It is true that South Asians don't, in general, value their daughters, which for instance is apparent in the dwindling gender ratio in India," said Meenakshi Ganguly, Human Rights Watch's (HRW) South Asia director.

    "Domestic violence is rampant and various forms of sexual assault often remain an untold horror that women endure. To a large part it is cultural, stemming from a feudal tradition where sons were the inheritors as well as caregivers in old age. But since then, it has become embedded in attitude, where women are simply considered inferior."

    Ganguly cites the high-profile case of Mukhtaran Mai -- a Pakistani women gang-raped by 14 men in 2002 to settle a matter of village honor -- as a sign of how age-old attitudes have not changed.

    Six men were sentenced to death for Mai's rape, but earlier this year Pakistan's Supreme Court upheld a decision to acquit five of them and commute one sentence to life in prison. Mai now lives in fear that those who raped her will return.

    Such injustices against women in the region are widespread, experts say.

    In insurgency-wracked Afghanistan, 16-year-old Bibi Aisha had her nose and ears cut off -- a punishment by the Taliban for running away from a forced and abusive marriage.

    While in Bangladesh, Nurun Nahar was attacked in her home by a group of men who pinned her down and poured acid over her face, disfiguring her for life. Her crime? Rejecting the advances of one of the attackers.

    "SILENT KILLERS"

    Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are in the top five countries deemed most dangerous for women in a poll of gender experts carried out by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation (Thomson Reuters Foundation Homepage - Trust.org).

    Yet the region has an impressive record of women reaching the highest political echelons.

    In India, one of the most powerful figures in the country's political history was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi, now leads the main party in the coalition government, while three other top political positions -- the president, speaker of the house and leader of the opposition -- are all held by women.

    There is also Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007 and Sri Lanka's Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who became the world's first elected woman prime minister when she took office in 1960, to name a few.

    But generally speaking this part of the world remains conservative and patriarchal and progress to protect ordinary women has been poor.

    Every three minutes an act of violence is perpetrated against a female in South Asia, according to U.N. Women. Crimes such as domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, incest, acid attacks and dowry deaths are "just the tip of the iceberg", say gender experts.

    But violence is not the only problem. Women also face discrimination and continue to have little say over their lives.

    More women die in childbirth in South Asia -- 500 for every 100,000 live births -- than any other place in the world except sub-Saharan Africa. And more than half the women in the region cannot read or write, according to the United Nations.

    These and other statistics indicate less visible discriminations such as a lack of access to resources including finances, land, inheritance rights, education, employment, justice, healthcare and nutrition.

    "I believe that the most widespread and silent killer of women and girls is a combination of poverty and the low status awarded to women," says Maria Joao Ralha, team leader for South Asia at the European Commission's humanitarian aid arm (ECHO).

    "Consequently women and girls are always the last to eat at home. They will most of the time not have enough to eat. They are more likely to become ill and often there's no money to take them to the doctor and they are more likely to die early."

    "MISSING GIRLS"

    Experts say attitudes are slowly changing, partly due to the region's growing economy, the advent of satellite television in even remote communities, exposure to western values and the percolation of social benefits to rural women as countries like India notch up near-double-digit growth.

    But the dangers to women remain starkly evident and in some countries the risks start even before birth.

    A major issue confronting the region is the skewed sex ratio and the increasing number of "missing" girls, a euphemism for the murder of female fetuses.

    Recent studies suggest up to 12 million girls were deliberately aborted in the last three decades in India, due to a strong preference for boys in some parts of the country.

    The discovery of nine female fetuses dumped in a drain in western India on Saturday is further proof, analysts say, that while South Asian nations like India have laws and policies in place, implementation on the ground is very weak.

    There is a lack of political will, money and human resources for gender policies and laws.

    "It's not enough to have a law. The implementation needs to be resourced well enough for it to work," says Mona Mehta, who is leading Oxfam's "We Can" campaign against violence against women in South Asia.

    "Also, a lot depends on the attitudes of local officials charged to implement (change). They come from the same communities, have the same patriarchal biases that the community has ... they don't think it's important, they don't think it's relevant."


    South Asia's growing modernity masks women's plight | Reuters

    related Story for you all
     
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