In 2018 the Thomson Reuters Foundation released a global poll that declared India as the worst country for women. The poll was based on six key areas: Healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, and human trafficking. India was ranked as the worst country in terms of cultural traditions, human trafficking, and sexual violence, third-worst in non-sexual violence and discrimination, and fourth-worst in healthcare. The Indian politicians denied the results of the survey and many said that even Scandinavian countries have a higher rate of sexual violence than India. This argument is flawed in itself as having a higher sexual violence rate doesn’t mean that a country has more incidents in reality it means that more incidents are reported to the law enforcement authorities. In India according to an article published by Hindustan times a reputed Indian news outlet 70% of women don’t report sexual harassment cases and that too the article only covered incidents around the workplace. If we consider the broader picture the number of unreported cases is even higher. The current situation proves that the biggest problem with the Indian government is denial they do not acknowledge the problem.
But, why is the situation so bad? For India, as a country, it is very shameful to be in a situation worse than historically conflicted countries like Somalia and Syria. India has a massive female feticide problem and the measures taken by the government have miserably failed. India has made its image even worse on the international stage when the state of Uttar Pradesh elected Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister. Yogi Adityanath has a long history of making sexist remarks for instance while opposing reservation for women he once said “If men acquire women-like qualities, they become gods but when women acquire men like qualities, they become demon like“. How in the world was this psychopath even allowed to enter into politics?. Individuals such as Yogi need to be removed from their positions they are polluting the Indian government from the inside. The Indian constitution under article 39(a) states that The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that the citizen, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood. Article 39(d) states that the state shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women. The promises made by the constitution have not been fulfilled. According to the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2018, India ranked 108th out of 149 countries on the gender gap index. In politics, the representation of women at the central government is very miserable. Women form only 14% of the representatives of the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
To solve the issue the government needs to acknowledge that there is an issue in the first place. The people need to make the government realize that we want solutions to the problem. The people need to change their mindset and this is something that the government cannot do. Call the people out who make sexist remarks be it your friends or parents. Make them realize that we all are equal and a girl has the right to do whatever she wants under the law and no one should question her. This issue needs to have more importance in Indian society than useless issues like religion. The change can only be brought by the citizens of India as history proves that the current government is only capable of talking about useless religion-based issues.