Women on the whole are not profiting from the South Asian tiger phenomenon. The trickle down factor dries up before it reaches the lowest of the low - most of whom are women.
According to a recent poll from Thomson Reuters, the women of the subcontinent are getting a particularly bad deal.
TrustLaw Women is a new website set up to exchange news and information on women’s legal rights. It asked gender experts from around the world to rank the countries that posed the greatest dangers and risks to women.
South Asia featured shamefully high on the list.
First - unsurprisingly - came Afghanistan, where one-in-eleven women die in childbirth, 87% of women are illiterate, and where women are generally without voice or representation in society. Congo ranked second because of its horrific statistics on rape (400,000 chidren and women of all ages are raped every year in that country). Pakistan came in third because of its culturally acceptable practices of child and forced marriage, domestic abuse, acid attacks and karo kari type punishments.
And then came India, feted superpower though it may be, with its much celebrated ten percent annual growth. But there are other statistics that show the dark side of the world’s largest democracy: three million prostitutes (40% of whom are estimated to be children), 100 million trafickked women, an estimated 50 million girls lost to selective abortions and foeticide, and an uncounted number of women abused at home or killed in dowry-related incidents.
It’s a disgraceful and disheartening list for a region that’s ecnouraging all predictions of becoming the beating heart of the world stage in the coming century.