India ranks at 141 among 165 countries analyzed by Newsweek magazine in the treatment of women. In the “Best and Worst Places for Women” analysis of Newsweek published in its September 26 edition, determining “which countries offer women the most expansive rights and the best quality of life”, Iceland (number one), Sweden, Canada, Denmark and Finland ranked at top five; while Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Afghanistan and Chad (number 165) were at the bottom.
The world still needs to do a lot for women as even the best rated country Iceland, which scored 100 out of 100; got 88 in economics, 90.5 in health, 92.8 in politics and 96.7 in education.
India’s overall score was only 41.9 out of 100; with only 14.8 in politics, 54 in justice, 60.7 in economics, 64.1 in health and 64.9 in education. Even Bangladesh, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Guatemala, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nepal, Libya, Eritrea, Syria, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, Iran, Oman, Uganda, Algeria, Laos, Madagascar, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Haiti, Qatar, Maldives, Myanmar, Lesotho, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Burundi, Cuba, Rwanda, Mongolia, China and Philippines; besides many other countries; ranked higher than India.
Although India is on track to become a global power, her new power and prosperity has remained evasive for many, especially women. Despite economic miracle, women in India continue to face inequalities in opportunities which blocks them from fully participating in the growth process. It is blight on a country, which prides herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.
We need 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.
Ancient Manusmriti says: “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 are said to be composed by women, and Aditi, who is sometimes referred as “mother of the gods”, finds mention in Rig-Veda as a goddess.
Newsweek magazine, launched in 1933 and published from New York City (USA), claims to reach 14 million readers across America and millions more through its international editions. Tina Brown is Editor-in-Chief while Barry Diller is Executive Chairman.
September 24, 2011