The Thompson Reuters Foundation, conducting a survey of roughly 550 experts in women’s issues, ranked the United States the 10th most dangerous country in the world for women. The ranking was based on the risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex.
So what countries were listed ahead of the United States? Here’s the list:
5. Saudi Arabia
7. Democratic Republic of Congo
Seven years ago a Thomson Reuters Foundation experts' survey ranked the five most dangerous countries for women as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. The Foundation explained, “This year we set out to see if the situation had changed. We wanted to find out whether more was being done to address the overall risks faced by women, and specifically regarding healthcare, access to economic resources, customary practices, sexual violence, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.”
Reuters reports, “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. … Experts said the surprise addition of the United States in the top 10 most dangerous countries for women came down to the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns against sexual harassment and violence that have dominated headlines for months.”
Just to compare notes, here are some of the problems for women in the top countries on the list: India: “sex slavery and domestic servitude, and for customary practices such as forced marriage, stoning and female infanticide”; Afghanistan: The women-hating Taliban, as well as “gender-based violence, abuse, illiteracy, poverty, and other human rights offences”; Syria, as noted by Maria Al Abdeh, executive director of Women Now For Development: “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.”
Some of the countries that didn’t make the top ten: Sudan, where, as Unicef reported, 34% of women aged 15 to 49 believe that a husband/partner is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstance”; Mali, where, as ONE campaign reported, less than half (38%) of girls in Mali have completed primary school; Iraq, a 2010 United Nations fact sheet stated that one in five Iraqi women was subject to domestic violence; and Pakistan, where child marriage, rape, murder "honor killings," acid attacks, and domestic violence have occurred.