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“In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels"

Poll shows India worst place to be a woman

 By BFP Staff  Thursday, June 14, 2012

India is the worst place to be a woman among the world’s biggest economies and ranks even lower than Saudi Arabia, according to a global poll of experts released by Trust Law, a Thomson Reuters Foundation service, on Wednesday.

It declared Canada the best place to be a woman, while even Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey fared better than India. “Infanticide, child marriage and slavery make India the worst”, the poll concluded.

“In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour,” one of those polled was quoted as saying.

The Gender Inequality Index has also reportedly ranked India among the worst places for women.

India ranked at 141 among 165 countries analyzed by Newsweek magazine in the treatment of women, which was published in September.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, argued that although India was on track to become a global power, but her new power and prosperity had remained evasive for many, especially women. Despite economic miracle, women in India continued to face inequalities in opportunities which blocked them from fully participating in the growth process. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed: We needed to empower our women in India; provide them better treatment under the law, better access to health-education-politics, and more opportunities for workplace participation; and open up more economic potentials for them.

Quoting scriptures, Rajan Zed pointed out that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.” Number of Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of Hinduism) hymns were said to be composed by women, and Aditi, who was sometimes referred as “mother of the gods”, found mention in Rig-Veda as a goddess.

TrustLaw reportedly asked aid professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, journalists and development specialists with expertise in gender issues to rank the 19 countries of the G20 in terms of the overall best and worst to be a woman.

TrustLaw is a core program of Thomson Reuters Foundation, a registered charity in the United States and United Kingdom established in 1982. David W. Binet and Monique Villa are Trustees Chairman and CEO respectively of the London headquartered Foundation.

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