India has emerged as the most dangerous country in the world for women, according to a new survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The survey is a repeat of a similar one conducted by the Foundation in 2011, which then rated India as the fourth most dangerous country for women, after Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan.
The survey is not going over well with either the Indian government or field experts.
From India's capital of New Delhi to the country's numerous small towns and villages, millions of women may be living in danger. But the Indian government insists the findings, based on a survey of 548 experts across the globe, is deeply flawed.
Of the survey's six major categories, India fared the worst in three: sexual violence, human trafficking, and culture and religion.
Recent cases such as the gang rape of a little girl in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, have badly damaged India's reputation. But some Indian social scientists argue that rape and sexual harassment are not exclusive to India.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation acknowledges the poll is based only on the perceptions of social scientists and experts, and is not backed by hard data. But others say instead of being angry over the survey's findings, perhaps India should take a long, hard look at why its reputation has suffered when it comes to the safety of women.