The Reuters report on women’s safety ranked India as the most dangerous country for women. Afghanistan and war-torn Syria came second and third in the survey conducted with 548 experts on women’s issue.
An Opinion Poll:
The Reuters poll is either called a survey or a poll at different places. It cannot be called a survey as a whole because a survey has to be a detailed study by visiting the place and studying it from ground zero. It is a poll of some 548 “experts” on women’s issues.
And those 548 experts are from around the globe. The names and laurels of the experts are not revealed too. There is no way to know if there were enough people representing India or any other country in that regard.
Out of the total 193 nations recognised by United Nations, the experts had to select 10 countries. The criteria for selection was the state of ‘healthcare for women’, ‘discrimination against them’, ‘cultural traditions’, ‘sexual and non-sexual violence‘ and ‘human trafficking’.
Role of Media:
As this was an opinion poll, the people who voted will more than likely make their decision from the news they might have seen recently.
In the western mainstream publications, India often gets the short end of the stick. In a survey conducted, this gives an edge to a lot of countries which are not covered by media. Media coverage, hence, will also play an important part in the result of this poll.
Facts And Interpretation:
Although factually correct, the article might have drawn a lot of misinterpretation from those facts and changed it according to their convenience.
One of them was “Crimes against women in India spiked more than 80 percent between 2007 and 2016, according to government data.” This was interpreted as an increase in the number of rapes in India.
Rekha Sharma, head of the National Commission for Women (NCW), said: “This was a case of more women reporting crimes rather than a greater incidence of sexual violence”.
There is no sure way of knowing what the actual truth is but it should not be misinterpreted to make a country look bad.
The UN Crime Trend statistics, however, show that the USA had the most number of rapes. This can be argued that cases in India are not reported, but in rape cases reported per lakh population, United Kingdom tops the chart followed by the USA while India is 6th.
The closing statement of the report says that “India was the most dangerous country for women in terms of human trafficking including sex slavery and domestic servitude.”
According to the 2017 report by the US Department of State for Human Trafficking, India comes in Tier 2 as per the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) of 1991.
It means that India does not fully meet TVPA’s standards but they are making an effort to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
Congo, Iran, Russia, Sudan, Syria are in Tier 3, which means that these countries are not even making significant efforts towards changing their status.
Government Dismisses The Report:
The government has dismissed the Thomas Reuters Foundation report by saying that it is an effort to malign the nation and draw attention away from real improvements seen in recent years.
Women And Child Development ministry maintain that the life of the average Indian woman is far improved as compared to a decade ago, and concludes that the facts clearly show that the opinion of India as the most dangerous country for women is not a reflection of reality.
Let us know your opinion about the poll!
Image Credits: Google Images
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