After ‘rejecting’ and criticising a report published by Thomson Reuters Foundation that said India is the most dangerous country for women at present, the Indian government has asked all its overseas missions to widely publicise all the steps to promote women’s safety.
According to an article on The Economic Times, the tourism ministry has sent a letter to the heads of missions and other departments abroad and directed them to promote the contents.
The paper, which has accessed the letter, quoted it saying: “The results have not been derived from any kind of data and are solely based on the subjective opinions of 548 respondents who have been defined by Reuters as ‘experts focused on women’s issues.’ However, information on their credentials, country of expertise or qualifications are not available. The poll has collected opinions on healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual violence, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.”
It also pointed out that India has fared better than some other countries mentioned in the poll for several years in women’s safety and called the findings inaccurate.
The letter also mentioned how the government has introduced helplines and directed states to boost police preparedness. It also mentioned that a bloggers’ meet had been organised this year in February and 45 women bloggers had travelled alone across India without facing major difficulties.
The government doubled down on the polls’ findings as soon as they were published calling it biased and unscientific. When INB India reached out to Thomson Reuters Foundation for an interaction with the team which led the polls, the organisation said they could not accommodate the request. However, they sent the following response: ” As we have clearly stated from the outset, it is a survey entirely based on expert opinion. Official data is often unavailable – or out of date – on women-related issues in many countries. Perception polls are not meant to replace official data, but to complement this data with a snapshot of a situation at a given time – in this case March and April 2018. Experts who know the situation on the ground can offer valuable insight that such data doesn’t always show.
“All respondents work in the field of women’s issues – a range of aid and development professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organisation workers, journalists and social commentators. The list was compiled from a database of women’s rights experts built by the Thomson ReutersFoundation team. We did not weight careers. All experts were given an assurance that their answers would be confidential to allow total honesty.”
They added: “In total 759 experts accessed the survey between March 26 and May 4. The findings are based on 548 full responses to the seven questions. The number of respondents who consider themselves experts on India was 101. Of those, 53 live in India. Our methodology is available on our poll website. We cannot release the raw data, as the formula used to determine the final score of each country is proprietary.”
Earlier this month, INB India spoke to National Commission for Women’s chairman Rekha Sharma. She rejected the report and said it was incorrect to rank India lower than countries which ‘have no concept of women’. “
“It was necessary. Because how people perceive your country, you know. Everybody talks about their country with so many positive things to the world. This survey is going all over the world and it is showing our country in bad light. Every visitor from outside is not getting raped here. It is not true,” she said,