A new survey released on Monday has found that New Delhi is the world’s worst megacity for sexual violence and harassment faced by women. 

India’s national capital shares the tag with Brazil’s Sao Paulo, according to a poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“I’m not surprised by the results as they’re based on perceptions. India and Brazil have seen a lot of media attention on sexual violence in recent years,” Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, head of U.N. Women in India who also worked in Brazil, told the foundation. “India and Brazil have seen a lot of media attention on sexual violence in recent years. Sexual violence in both these cities is, of course, a reality, but there isn’t any definitive data to suggest that rates are higher in Delhi and Sao Paulo than any other city.”

There were 2,155 rapes recorded in Delhi in 2016 – a rise of 67 per cent from 2012, according to police data.

The survey focused on four key areas – sexual violence against women, women’s access to healthcare, harmful cultural practices and economic opportunities.

Here is how Delhi fared in individual areas:

Sexual violence:

b’Courtesy: Screengrab/Thomson Reuters Foundation’


Cultural Practices

Economic opportunities

Authorities attribute the surge in numbers to more victims reporting crimes, rather than more sexual violence occurring. Activists say it is probably a combination of both.

The survey asked 380 experts in cities with populations of more than 10 million to assess the risk of sexual violence and harmful cultural practices to women, as well as rank women’s access to health care and economic opportunities.

Egypt’s capital Cairo was rated the most dangerous city for women overall and rated third worst for sexual violence, followed by Mexico City and Dhaka. Tokyo was seen as the safest city for women in terms of sexual violence.