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Report says India most unsafe country for women

A Thomson Reuters Foundation report revealed that India is the most unsafe country for women, a claim they have since stood by.

The foundation released their latest report in an attempt to follow up with previous findings of the same nature that they released in 2011. In 2011, their report concluded that the five most dangerous countries for women at the time were Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. The foundation claimed that they wanted to see if anything had changed in the seven years since their last report.

They consulted with 548 experts in various relevant fields including aid and development professionals, health workers, academics, policymakers, journalists, and non-government organization workers.

Their information concluded that India was ranked the worst country when it came to cultural traditions (such as acid attacks, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and physical abuse as punishment), sexual violence, and human trafficking. Afghanistan was ranked the worst when it came to healthcare, discrimination, and non-sexual violence.

However, Maneka Gandhi of the Union Minister of Women and Child Development in India questioned the foundation about why the ministry wasn’t consulted. In a statement they said, “The poll has been conducted with 548 respondents, which have been defined by Reuters as ‘experts focused on women’s issues.’ However, information on their designation, credentials, country of expertise or qualifications is not available, thus reliability is an issue. The methodology given by the organisation also includes ‘policymakers’ as one of the respondents. However, no information or opinion has been sought from this ministry regarding the poll.”

Additionally, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted on June 27 that he was ashamed of Congress for using the report and slandering Indians. “The #WomenSafetyReport being used by Congress to slander billions of Indians thereby trying to damage our reputation globally, is a ‘Perception Based’ survey, afar from any solid facts or numbers. Ashamed of the Congress,” he wrote.

In the midst of the criticism, First Post interviewed the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who defended their report. “All respondents work in the field of women’s issues: A range of aid and development professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organisation workers, journalists and social commentators. The list was compiled from a database of women’s rights experts built by the Thomson Reuters Foundation team.”

It’s hard not to see the staggering numbers of sexual assault in India, however. A 2016 report from the National Crime Records Bureau revealed that the majority of sexual assaults were committed by someone in the victim’s family.

The Times of India reported that in 2016, 38,947 sexual assault cases were reported throughout the year. They also reported that in 2016 there were over 100 assaults in one day and of those victimized, 2,116 of them were between the ages of 0-12.

What a country’s national dish tells us about cultural identity

Does your country have a national dish? It is rumoured the government of India is set to announce the country’s official national food — Khichdi — at an upcoming international food event. This news has caused quite a debate on social media. Why would there be the need to do something like this now? Kaichdi can be found in different parts of India all with varying recipes. However, the dish is simple and considered a staple mean in the country.

Khichdi is an interesting choice for India. Westerner’s would probably expect it to be something like butter chicken or anything with tandoori, because these are the most popular dishes associated with the country. Khichdi is a wet stew made using lentils, rice, and spices, with some regions adding meat. The dish is well-known in India itself and almost every region of the country has a different version of the dish. And yet, Twitter experienced a firestorm from angry food lovers, with many tweeting their opinion on the possibility of this dish being slated as a national dish. What this debate is showing us is that there is a significant importance between a nation’s identity and food.

Originating from Southern India, this dish is considered easy to make, humble, and one of the first dishes that babies can be introduced to. India’s Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, clarifies that the recognition of Khichdi is happening because it will be put on record at the World Food India event, which is set to take place in the country’s capital. Because of this event and all the attention that Khichdi is getting, this makes the dish a sort of unofficial representation of Indian food. Because of its simplicity, there will be a world record attempt to cook 800 kilos of the dish.

With all the funny tweets aside, the most interesting part about the Khichdi debate makes me wonder about what really qualifies as a national dish for some countries? A national dish is an important title because it is a country’s food-related identity, speaking to that countries culture. Not everyone is going to universally love a food and some may be more popular than others. Women’s Post decided to research some other popular ‘national dishes.’ These may or may not cause another debate.

England- Fish & Chips

China- Fried rice

Jamaica- Jerk Chicken

Italy- Pizza

Phillipines- Adobo

Guyana- Pepperpot

Chile- Empanada

Vietnam- Pho

Japan- Sushi

Canada- Poutine, Butter Tarts, Nanaimo Bars…

United States- Hamburgers, Hot Dogs,….. Apple Pie, Chicken Wings ???? Literally everything

While this list can have many additions, there were some easy picks and some much harder, every country is diverse and mixed with different cultures so deciding on one staple dish is more of a difficult choice.

Let us know in the comments below where you are from and what you consider your country’s national dish.

 

‘Bollywood Logic’ infographics tackle violence against women in India

In the past few years the rest of the world has been startled awake to the long simmering issue of sexual violence and violence against women in India with high profile gang rape cases and terrifying statistics showing lax safety for women, an issue that the new feminist Bollywood movie The Pink Sorrys attempts to address by incorporating violence, dance numbers, and punk rock into the framework of a traditional Bollywood movie to start the conversation.

Check out these infographics juxtaposing Bollywood tropes with harsh realities for women in India and let us know what you think, can a Bollywood style film jump start awareness for women’s issues in India?

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