Is India the worst country

Women live the worst in India

Madhu got to know Sameep through an internet dating site. The 33-year-old banker seemed like the right match. A little later, the couple married and moved to Mumbai. But marriage turned into a nightmare. The man began mistreating the 29-year-old publishing clerk to extort more dowry. With nerves at the end, Madhu announced to her parents that she was leaving him. The next day she was found dead - with strangle marks on her neck.

A murder for dowry every hour

Every hour in India a woman is murdered over dowry arguments. Tens of thousands of babies are aborted every year because they are female. Women are raped, beaten, married as children and kept as slaves. A study by the Thomson Reuters Foundation has now come to the conclusion: India is the most misogynistic state of the G-20, the world's major industrialized and emerging countries.

Worst situation for women in India and Saudi Arabia

The 370 experts surveyed rated Canada as the best country for women. Germany came second, followed by Great Britain, Australia, France and the USA. Finally, alongside India, there was wealthy Saudi Arabia, which massively curtails women's rights and does not even allow them to drive.

But nowhere else can you find such a level of violence against women as in India, according to the study. Women have equal rights on paper. Since 2005 there has even been a separate law for the protection of women. But reality looks different. "Women and girls continue to be sold like cattle, married at ten, burned alive or kept like slaves," says Gulshun Rehman from the NGO Save the Children.

Honor killings are also common in the country. Victims are often girls and women who allegedly have tarnished the family honor. Almost 45 percent of all girls are still married before they are 18, say women's organizations. One in five women dies in childbirth or in childbed - including many teenagers.

Contrast to the image of India

The result of the study contrasts with India's image as a modern, emerging economic power. In fact, women also occupy key positions in politics and business. With Indira Gandhi, a woman led the country as early as the 1960s. Today Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress party, is considered the most powerful person in India.

"There are two India's: one that gives women more equality and prosperity. And one in which the vast majority of women live without any rights," says Sushma Kapoor of UN Women. In many places, a barbaric chauvinism continues to determine thought: the man is everything, the woman counts nothing.

Lawyers are calling for tougher penalties. But many politicians do not dare to approach the subject. Because violence against women is socially accepted, they fear for voters. But there is also hope: the grievances are increasingly being discussed and denounced on television. (Christine Möllhoff from New Delhi, DER STANDARD, June 14, 2012)