In which countries it is not safe to live if one is a woman? The Thomson Reuters Foundation has just published a ranking, based on a survey of 500 international experts. India comes at the top of this sad record.
The issue of violence against women remains at the heart of the news since the case of the American producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of sexual harassment and rape by dozens of women. It is in this context that the Thomson Reuters Foundation has just published a new survey that ranks the world’s most dangerous countries for women. Nearly 500 experts on this issue (NGOs, medical staff, academics, parliamentarians, etc.) were asked about four aspects: sexual violence, access to healthcare, cultural practices and economic opportunities (access to education, property, right to a bank account).
India has been ranked as the most dangerous country in the world for women, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of 500 experts around the world. The study reveals that it is the country where the risk of sexual violence is highest as well as the risk for a woman to be exploited as a slave to perform forced labour.
According to the Foundation’s 2011 survey, India was fourth behind Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan. This year, India has also been at the forefront of attacks on cultural traditions, including acid attacks, female genital mutilation and forced marriages of minors.
Government data shows that between 2007 and 2016, every hour, four cases are reported about rape. Since the national outcry provoked five years ago by people of India about a brutal gang rape and the murder of a young girl student in a bus, the country has made the fight against violence and gathered for women safety and security as a national priority. But the experts surveyed believe that there is still a lot of work to do.
The country ranks seventh in the world on sexual violence. And the survey reveals that Afghan women have the worst access to health care in the world. It is also the country where they suffer the most aggression, harassment, physical and verbal violence. Much of the country is still under Taliban control after seventeen years of conflict.
The country is in its seventh year of civil war. Violence, including rape is a weapon of war. Women undergo them daily. NGOs noted that forced marriages of minors are increasing, as well as conjugal violence. Another disturbing finding is that more and more women are losing their lives during pregnancy.
Somalia ranks in number 10 for sexual violence worldwide. This includes stoning, child marriage and acid attacks as a form of punishment. Somali women have endured more than two decades of war fueling the culture of violence against them.
5. Saudi Arabia
While sexual violence against women is low in Saudi Arabia, the criterion of discrimination ranks the country second in the world. These include limited fundamental rights, such as discrimination in employment, the ability to earn for a living and lack of access to education. The Saudi women just got the right to drive a car last Sunday only.
Seven years ago, Pakistan ranked in the top five of this survey. Despite slightly better results this year, it ranked fourth in the world for discriminations and cultural traditions, including the inability of women to earn for living and physical abuse or malnutrition as a form of punishment.
7. Democratic Republic of Congo
The Central African nation ranks second behind India as the most dangerous country in the world for sexual violence. This includes rape, as a weapon of war, lack of access to justice in rape cases and sexual coercion as a form of corruption. The country rich in minerals is regularly confronted with strong tensions and many abuses. Women are the first to undergo them and from an early age.
Yemen is one of the poorest country in the Arab world. He was devastated by a three-year civil war. The crisis has resulted in a continuing war between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition. The country ranks fourth in the world for non-sexual violence and fourth in health care for women.
This African country is the fourth country most affected by human trafficking, behind India and Libya. Domestic servitude, forced labour, sexual slavery are some sad reality of what women suffer on the spot, denounce the NGOs.
10. The United States
This is the surprise of this ranking: the tenth place occupied by the United States. The #MeToo movement since the Weinstein affair has allowed many women to make their voices hard in this country and to report that they have been harassed and sexually assaulted.
Mentalities, as in France and other European countries, have yet to evolve to achieve real equality between men and women.