Despite what Ben Tulfo might lead you to believe, a woman’s choice of clothing isn’t the driving factor that invites ‘the beast’ from a rapist or a sex offender. That is, according to a 2018 report by the Thompson Reuters Foundation, which surveyed the 10 most dangerous countries for women.
The study explored the overall risk faced by women in six key areas: healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual and non-sexual violence, and human trafficking.
India ranked first in terms of sexual violence, with 40,000 rape cases reported in 2016 alone, despite the more conservative ‘look’ of the female population. The incidents happen in environments that are far from sources of sexual urges: girls are molested in schools, office employees in workplaces, and even inside taxis.
And even eight years after 23-year-old Jyoti Singh was gang-raped in a bus – an incident that sparked international outrage, local protests, and tougher laws – the rape epidemic continues to be a problem.
As is usual, women in India are subject to victim-blaming and fear of backlash.
“There is a culture of silence not because women are okay to put up with it, but because women do not draw enough confidence from the way the issue is going to be dealt with, because those in power continue to be men’, said Nishtha Satyam, deputy chief of United Nations Women in India.
The top five include Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia, the majority of which feature the hijab, a covering used by Muslim women to hide their face, head, or body in observance of the Islamic standards of modesty.
The rest of the list is composed of Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nigeria, and the USA.
Images from Reuters