From across the globe, experts ranging from health professionals, journalists, policymakers, academics, social commentators, development specialists, non-government workers, NGO staff and many more were given the task from the organization to rank all countries in terms of risk for women based on the following factors of healthcare, discrimination, sexual violence, cultural and traditional practices, human trafficking, and physical violence. The Thomson Reuters Foundation wanted to research to determine the most dangerous countries for women out of all 193 United States and surveyed 550 experts to focus on women’s issues to know which countries make it to the list of top ten most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. A similar survey was conducted several years ago, and the Foundation wanted to find out if the results had changed by organizing the same research. Here is the list of the 10 most dangerous countries in the world for women according to the survey of global experts.
According to the poll of global experts, India is rank as the most dangerous country in the world for women because of its high occurrences of sexual assault, being forced into sexual slavery, human trafficking, female infanticide, child marriage and lack of justice in rape cases. Experts reported that India outranked the list on the survey because its government has done almost nothing to defend and protect the women even after the controversial case of a young female student being gang-raped and murdered in a bus in 2012 which had evoked international and national outrage.
According to India’s government data, cases of crimes against women rose by 83 percent between the year 2007 and 2016, where there were reports of four cases of rape every hour. As years go on, domestic abuse, child marriages were increasing, and more young women died during childbirth. Also, India has the most numbers of child brides in the world, and its own government estimated that there were millions of young women who had gone missing because of sex-selective abortion. Among the countries Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, India is ranked number one in high cases of rape and violence against women.
Afghanistan is ranked as the most dangerous country for women, according to the international poll of experts on gender issues. The extreme levels of sexual violence, cultural discrimination, lack of healthcare, poverty, and low access to economic resources make it the worse country for women to live in. According to Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, a group that supports women entrepreneurs around the world, Afghanistan is an unsafe place for women because of the combined ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes, and the unsafe cultural practices. Also, women who attempt to speak out or take out public roles to defend their rights and what is acceptable for women to do and not do, they are often threated to be killed.
Afghanistan remains as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a mother, child, and a baby because of having limited access to healthcare and doctors. The country has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, and every year thousands of Afghan women die while in the middle of giving birth. According to UNICEF, the majority of these deaths can be prevented if these mothers and children have access to quality healthcare, were given comprehensive treatment and quality care.
According to global experts, seven years of civil war in Syria have turned into one of the most dangerous countries for women to live. Syria is ranked as the third worst place for women in terms of domestic abuse, rising of child marriage, sexual violence, no access to healthcare and education. During the civil war, numerous weapon attacks have taken place across Syria, causing the deaths of half a million innocent people and half of the population to flee to other counties. The Syrian women were being sexually exploited by the government forces and have a lack of access to justice in rape cases due to the complete absence of law. There is Syria is ranked the seventh as the worst for having lack of access to economic resources and joint third with the United States with regards to the high risks of women facing sexual violence and harassment. Domestic violence and child marriage keep increasing, and more young women are dying during childbirth.
The poll ranked Somalia as the fourth most dangerous country for women after being mired in conflict since 1991 with the government struggling to take control over the impoverished rural areas that are under the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab. The country was deemed worst place for women to live due to lack of access to healthcare and economic resources, facing sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and being at risk of harmful cultural and traditional practices which are stoning and acid attacks as a form of retribution. The women in Somalia have suffered for over two decades of war that weakens the institutions and devastate the country, causing half of the population to become homeless. Daily, the country is under terrorist attacks, civil war and street violence which always results in multiple injuries, deaths, and displacement on its civilians. For decades, Somalia is amongst one of the most dangerous countries in the world, making it unsafe for tourists to visit.
5. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is ranked as the fifth most dangerous country for women in terms of discrimination policies, economic opportunities, limited fundamental rights and risks from cultural and religious practices. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the women are required to follow the guardianship policy whereby they not allowed to decide without male permission. It is obligatory for all women in the country to have an official male guardian, generally a father, uncle, husband or brother. The women must have the approval of their male guardian for any major activities such as working, traveling, getting medical treatments, and getting married.
Under Islamic law, the women must follow a strict regulation of a dressed code of wearing a long cloak and a headscarf. If they expose most flesh and wear too much make-up, the women are at risk of being harassed by men, especially from the police. The women are also required to limit their interaction with men who are not related to them. In most public buildings of the country such as banks and offices, including public transportations, amusement parks and beaches are segregated for the different sexes. It is considered unlawful for both parties to be mixed which will lead to criminal charges, but the women will face
Pakistan is ranked as the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of discrimination, sexual violence and harassment, forced child marriages and the risk of cultural, religious and traditional practices. According to Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission, every year, more than 1,000 women and young girls are victims of so-called honor killings. Another brutal retribution or punishment some women faced are acid attacks, stoning, and physical violence. According to World Bank Data, almost one in three Pakistani women report suffering from domestic violence from their husbands. On the report from a data of Daily Times, VAWC Multan has administered with numerous cases of various categories that are based on violence against women. Such include physical abuse, family disputes, property disputes, sexual harassment, claims of rape, and criminal offenses.
7. Democratic Republic of Congo
The Central African nation is ranked second as the most dangerous country for women due to its high levels of rape and sexual violence, poor access to healthcare and economic resources, and harmful cultural and traditional practices. The female victims who were raped have lack of access to justice, and the perpetrators can continue with their lives without facing any consequences by the authorities. In the country, the perpetrators were never charged for their criminal acts, and remain free to continue to commit the same atrocities, causing the sexual violence against women to increase and get worse daily.
According to the report in the American Journal of Public Health, about 1,150 of Congolese women are raped every day which is about 420,000 a year. DR Congo is a place where it is more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier. Years of civil war and extreme violence have some families displaced to other countries, get separated or have members of the family killed. The years on conflict has led to the women replacing men as the primary economic providers for the family due to the absence of men from either displacement, being unable to work or death.
Yemen is ranked eight in the list for being one of the most dangerous countries for women due to the risk from cultural and traditional practices, physical violence and minimal access to healthcare, education, protection, and economic resources. It is one of the Arab’s most impoverished countries that has been devasted by an ongoing civil war between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition. In Southern Yemen, women and children are frequently exposed to violence in conflicted-affected areas, and the result of the continuous war caused millions on civilians to suffer from lack of access to essential services and emergency relief assistance.
In many areas of the country, flooding and other natural disasters have caused devastation and epidemic outbreak of cholera disease to its residents. Thousands of civilians have died from the causes of poor health, high levels of undernutrition and disease. Only half of the country’s 3,500 health facilities are fully functioning, causing at least 16 million civilians to suffer from lack of primary healthcare. The crisis of the war has also forced millions of people to flee their homes without their basic needs. The war in Yemen has led to the deaths of thousands of civilians and millions to suffer from lack of access to food, water, shelter and health services they need to survive. The conflict of the war has made the country the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with millions of people in urgent need of vital assistance.
The African nation is ranked ninth as one of the worst countries to be a woman due to the risk of sexual slavery, forced labor, domestic servitude, poor healthcare, and human trafficking. The Nigerian women even suffered from a lot of obstacles regarding terrorism, poverty, cultural and traditional practices of child marriages, female genital mutilation, female infanticide and retribution through acid attacks, stoning, and physical abuse. Sexual assault occurs commonly among the Nigerian women in terms of rape as a weapon of war, sexual harassment and the lack of access to justice in rape cases.
Every year, thousands of Nigerian women are involved in illegal immigration in Europe after being sold as sex workers by their pimps who deceived them with fake employment certificates. Nigeria even has the highest number of female genital mutilation worldwide and based on the report; the cutting mostly occurs on girls in their early childhood. Child marriage in Nigeria is very common. According to the research of UNICEF, 17% of Nigerian girls are forced to get married at the age of 15, and 44% of them are married at 18. Based on the numerous reports, Nigeria has the highest number of VVV – Vesico Vagina Fistula, cases in the world due to early marriages.
10. United States
The United States is the only western country in the top ten list of most dangerous countries for women in terms of the risk of sexual violence, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and absence of justice in cases of rape. Based on the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns that went viral, thousands of women joined together online using the social media to share their stories about their experiences of sexual abuse or harassment and wanted justice. According to data from the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in six American women has been a victim of rape, and nine out of ten victims of rape are women. Scott Berkowitz, the president of RAIIN, is pursed to end the sexual assault and harassment against women and support the survivors by educating the public about the act of consent, and focusing on prevention for violence and to bring perpetrators to justice by reinforcing the criminal justice system.