London: India is the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour, according to a poll of global experts released .
War-torn Afghanistan and Syria ranked second and third in the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of about 550 experts on women’s issues, followed by Somalia and Saudi Arabia.
The only Western nation in the top 10 was the United States, which ranked joint third when respondents were asked where women were most at risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex.
The poll was a repeat of a survey in 2011 that found experts saw Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia as the most dangerous countries for women.
Experts said India moving to the top of poll showed not enough was being done to tackle the danger women faced, more than five years after the rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi made violence against women a national priority.
“India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women … rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated,” said Manjunath Gangadhara, an official at the Karnataka state government.
“The (world’s) fastest growing economy and leader in space and technology is shamed for violence committed against women.”
Government data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by 83 percent between 2007 and 2016, when there were four cases of rape reported every hour.
The survey asked respondents which five of the 193 United Nations member states they thought were most dangerous for women and which country was worst in terms of healthcare, economic resources, cultural or traditional practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.
Respondents also ranked India the most dangerous country for women in terms of human trafficking, including sex slavery and domestic servitude, and for customary practices such as forced marriage, stoning and female infanticide.
India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development declined to comment on the survey results.
Afghanistan fared worst in four of the seven questions, with concerns over healthcare and conflict-related violence.
Kimberly Otis, director of advancement at Women for Afghan Women, said women and girls faced severe gender-based violence, abuse, illiteracy, poverty, and other human rights offences.
“The ongoing war and conflict are getting worse in Afghanistan, which puts the lives of women and girls at increasing risk,” said US-based Otis, a survey participant.
Afghanistan’s Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said the deteriorating security situation was making life difficult for women, with large parts of the country still in the control of Taliban fighters after nearly 17 years of war.
“Nowadays, suicide bombings and armed conflict is the third (highest) cause of deaths and disability in Afghanistan,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview in London.
“Instead of focusing (spending) on maternal health, on nutritional status, we spend it on trauma.”
The impact of a seven-year war drove Syria into third place in the survey, amid concerns over access to healthcare and both sexual and non-sexual violence.
“There are so many dangers for girls and women,” said Maria Al Abdeh, executive director of Women Now For Development, which supports women’s centres in Syria.
“There is sexual violence by government forces. Domestic violence and child marriage are increasing and more women are dying in childbirth. The tragedy is nowhere near an end.”
Somalia, where more than two decades of war has fuelled a culture of violence and weakened institutions meant to uphold the law, was again named as one of the five most dangerous countries for women.
Hindu woman-Muslim man marraige not ‘regular or valid’ but child born is legitimate: SC
New Delhi: A marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man is not a “regular or valid” but the child born out of such wedlock is legitimate, the Supreme Court held.
It also said that the legal effect of such an irregular marriage is that a wife is entitled to get dower but cannot inherit the husband’s property.
The court held that the child born in an irregular marriage is legitimate just like in the case of a valid marriage and is entitled to inherit the property of the father.
A bench of justices N V Ramana and M M Shantanagoudar upheld the order of the Kerala High Court by which it was ruled that the son of a couple – Mohammed Ilias and Valliamma (who was Hindu at the time of marriage) – was legitimate and was entitled for share in his father’s property according to law.
“We conclude that the marriage of a Muslim man with an idolater or fire?worshipper is neither a valid nor a void marriage, but is merely an irregular marriage. Any child born out of such wedlock is entitled to claim a share in his father’s property,” the bench said.
The top court while dismissing the appeal against the high court order said that since Hindus are idol worshippers, which includes worship of physical images or statues through offering of flowers and adornment, it is clear that the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man is merely an irregular one.
It was hearing a property dispute matter in which Shamsuddin, son of Ilias and Valliamma, claimed share in the ancestral property through inheritance after the death of his father.
It said “the legal effect of an irregular marriage is that in case of consummation, though the wife is entitled to get dower, she is not entitled to inherit the properties of the husband. But the child born in that marriage is legitimate just like in the case of a valid marriage, and is entitled to inherit the property of the father.”
The court, on the other hand, said that the effect of a void marriage is that it does not create any civil right or obligations between the parties and the children born out of such wedlock are illegitimate.
The bench said that under Muslim law, a marriage is not a sacrament but a civil contract and there are three types of marriage – valid, irregular and void.
The court said that high court relied on principles of Islamic law to conclude that such rules do not treat the marriage of a Muslim with a Hindu woman as void, and confers legitimacy upon children born out of such wedlock.
Referring to this law, the bench said that a marriage which is not valid may be either void or invalid.
“A void marriage is one which is unlawful in itself, the prohibition against such a marriage being perpetual and absolute. An invalid marriage is described as one which is not unlawful in itself, but unlawful for something else…(like absence of witnesses),” the bench said.
Shamsuddin’s claim over property was opposed by his cousins who alleged that his mother was not the legally wedded wife of Ilias and she was a Hindu by religion at the time of marriage.
They claimed that she had not converted to Islam at the time of her marriage, and thus Shamshuddin being the son of Valliamma, is not entitled to any share in Ilias’s property.
The top court said that it was not disputed that Valliamma was the wife of Ilias and contrary to the claims, birth register records maintained by statutory authorities indicate that Shamshuddin was their son.
“On the contrary, he is the legitimate son of Mohammed Ilias, and consequently is entitled to inherit the shares claimed in the estate of his father,” it said.
It said that it was also not denied that Ilias and Valliamma were living together as husband and wife at Thiruvananthapuram.
“Under these circumstances, in our considered opinion, the trial court and the high court were justified in concluding, based on the preponderance of probabilities, that Valliamma was the legally wedded wife of Mohammed Ilias, and the plaintiff (Shamshuddin) was the child born out of the said wedlock,” it held.
The bench also upheld the finding of the high court that though Shamshuddin was born out of a ‘fasid’ (irregular) marriage, he cannot be termed as an illegitimate son of Ilias.
9 men including teenager arrested by Maharashtra ATS for links with ISIS
Mumbai: Nine men including a teenager have been arrested for terror links from Maharashtra’s Mumbra, Thane and Aurangabad.
Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) alleged that all of them are linked to the ISIS terror group.
The Maharashtra ATS was investigating the presence of sleeper cell ahead of Republic Day.
“Based on reliable information, total 9 youths have been brought for questioning. Inquiries are in progress. Further details will be informed in due course,” said ATS.
ATS also said that certain chemicals, powder, mobile phones, hard drives SIM cards, acid bottle, sharp knives etc were seized during searches.
A case has been registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
Priyanka named Cong Gen Secy for UP East, may contest from Rae Bareli
Mumbai :Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took the political plunge on Wednesday, just a few months before the Lok Sabha election with Congress president Rahul Gandhi naming his sister as the All India Congress Committee General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East.
Priyanka Gandhi will take charge in the first week of February 2019. She is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from the Gandhi bastion of Rae Bareli, sources told Zee News. The seat is currently represented in the Lok Sabha by her mother Sonia Gandhi.
Speaking on the development, senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra said, “The responsibility given to Priyanka ji is very important. This will not only have an effect on eastern Uttar Pradesh but also other regions.”
The Congress also appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as the General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West and KC Venugopal as Congress General Secretary (Organisation).
Venugopal remains the AICC General Secretary in-charge for Karnataka, a state the Congress is in power in alliance with the Janata Dal Secular of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress Lok Sabha MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh and one of the architects of the party’s victory in the recent assembly election in the state, will handle Uttar Pradesh West as the party General Secretary.
“Hon’ble Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi has appointed Shri K C Venugopal as AICC General Secretary (organisation) with immediate effect He will continue in his role as AICC General Secretary In-Charge for Karnataka. The note reads – The Party appreciates the contribution of Shri Ashok Gehlot as AICC General Secretary (Organisation). Hon’ble Congress President has also appointed Smt Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East. She will be taking charge with effect on first week of February 2019. Hon’ble Congress President has also appointed Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West with immediate effect. The Party appreciates the contribution of Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad as AICC General Secretary of Uttar Pradesh He will now be AICC General Secretary for Haryana with immediate effect,” read the Congress press release.
Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state in the Lok Sabha with 80 seats, is likely to see a triangular contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, Samajwadi-Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine and Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
Reacting to the development, BJP leader Sambit Patra said, “This is not a challenge for BJP. This was expected. It’s family dynasty and reflects that Rahul Gandhi has failed. And in future, Robert Vadra too will enter politics. Only a Gandhi can become president of the party.”