NOTE: This article is not a justification of the crimes against women that take place in India every day. It is the sad truth.
If you look up the word ‘rape’ on Google, almost all of the first few searches are related to India.
The country has been literally under a cloud, and with good reason, due to the horrible crimes against women perpetrated here. However, if you look at the facts, such as UN data of how many rapes occur in other countries, reported and otherwise, things look quite different. While the issue of violence against women in India is a glaring one, there are several other countries where the problems are just as bad, if not worse.
1. Democratic Republic of Congo
UN statistics shows that the prevalence and intensity of rape here is the worst in the world . Apparently, There are around 400,00 rapes here annually. It is used as a weapon to spread fear and induce obedience. It is literally known as the ‘rape capital of the world’.
Sexual violence is a major problem here, due in part because if a man gets a woman pregnant, then he can claim her as his wife and even get a bride price . This has resulted in several abductions of women and even young children.
According to a study, around 33% of the police population here believe that some women deserve to be raped. If that’s not bad enough, more than 50% of the general population also believe that women’s clothing and behaviour incite men to rape.
In the States, a woman in raped every 6.2 minutes. In 2011, 83,425 rapes were reported in the USA, a nation of 300 million people. In the same year, there were 24,206 rapes reported in India, a nation of 1.2 billion. Even keeping in mind unreported cases, that is still a massive difference.
The common practise of using the ‘ 2 finger test ‘ is about all you need to know to form an opinion of rape in Bangladesh. It is very common and highly under-reported, mostly because of the social stigma attached to it.
The social mindset towards sexual violence against women here is extremely outdated. There is an ingrained stigma around rape here. In fact, a court recently even ruled that a woman who claimed to have been raped was actually a willing partner because otherwise the rapist would not have been able to take off her tight jeans!
With a 12.3 per 100,000 reported cases of rape, there is a definite skew against women here. With incidences of gang violence and date rape, violence against women here is a serious concern. There are especially heart wrenching cases of women who cross the US-Mexico border and are raped by the people who take them, clothes left on trees as deterrents.
As there is no minimum age for marriage in Yemen, you don’t need to imagine the kind of female abuse that goes on here. Young girls are frequently reported dead due to violent rape by their husbands, and marital rape is also not recognised.
Penetration by any object other than a person’s penis is not even considered rape here, which in itself is a pretty regressive policy . Between 2006-07, 85000 people were raped in the UK, but only 800 people were convicted, or in other words, only 1 out f a 100 rapists got caught, which is pretty dismal.
In Sudan, rape is often used as a weapon of terror . One of the worst laws here however, is that if a a case of rape is not proven, then the victim is tried and sent to jail because consensual adultery and consensual sodomy is illegal here.
11. Sri Lanka
In a survey by the UN in 2013, nearly 15 percent of Sri Lankan men said they had committed rape. Apart from that, weak rape laws have made it easy for most people accused to walk away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
In a national poll held last year, it was found that only about half of the rapes reported in Canada are even tried, and only a quarter of them end in convictions. Of the 1000 plus women polled, 17 percent said they had been victims of sexual assault. 25% of the women also said they were sexually harassed.
13. South Africa
South Africa has one of the highest rates of child and baby rape. There were around 65000 cases of rape and sexual assault in 2012. In fact, More than 25 per cent of South African men questioned in a survey published by the Medical Research Council (MRC) admitted to rape.
14. Saudi Arabia
The laws against rape in Saudi Arabia are extremely weak. For there to be a conviction, the perpetrator must confess and there must also be at least 4 witnesses to the act. While rape is punishable by death here, these ridiculous laws make it near impossible to get a conviction. There’s also a huge taboo against reporting rape.
According to some studies, almost 90% of the street kids in Pakistan have faced some form of sexual abuse. A poll of 1,800 Pakistani men found that a third don’t think raping street kids is a crime. A study by human rights watch found that there is a rape in Pakistan once every two hours.