According to a new study, India has been ranked as the most dangerous country to be a woman, followed by Afghanistan and Syria.
The experts were asked to rank which five of the 193 United Nations member states were the most dangerous for women as well as the worst for healthcare, discrimination, cultural practices, sexual and non-sexual violence, and human trafficking.
First place India scored the highest on three categories; the risk of sexual violence and harassment against women, the danger women face from cultural, tribal and traditional practices, and the country where women are most in danger of human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude.
The news comes as little surprise, with the country under intense scrutiny following a number of high-profile rape cases.
In the same survey, conducted back in 2011, India was ranked fourth, however despite stricter laws, sexual assaults were up 12% in 2016, with nearly 39,000 alleged attacks reported, according to CNN.
"India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women ... rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated," Manjunath Gangadhara, an official at the Karnataka state government in southwest India, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"The (world's) fastest growing economy and leader in space and technology is shamed for violence committed against women," added Gangadhara.
According to the survey, the top 10 reads:
- Saudi Arabia
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- United States
The United States is the only Western country to make the list, with the report citing the #MeToo movement as a major factor impacting results.
“The United States shot up in the rankings after tying joint third with Syria when respondents were asked which was the most dangerous country for women in terms of sexual violence including rape, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and the lack of access to justice in rape cases,” stated the report.
“Hundreds of women have since publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct and thousands have joined the #MeToo social media movement to share stories of sexual harassment or abuse.”