Recent research carried out by the Thomson Reuters Foundation has highlighted exactly where some of the most dangerous places are worldwide for females.
After conducting similar research in 2011, which revealed Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia to be the most dangerous nations for women out of all 193 United Nations member states, they wanted to see whether things had changed seven years on—and there were some worrying surprises.
The Foundation quizzed 548 experts on women’s issues from across the globe, ranging from aid and development workers, to academics, health professionals, journalists, social commentators, policymakers and more. Using the information they gathered from this knowledgeable set, they ranked each country in terms of risk for women in the following six areas:
- Sexual violence
- Human trafficking
- Cultural traditions
- Non-sexual violence
The most dangerous countries were found to be:
United States of America
The only western country to rank in the list was the USA, following the rise of the #MeToo and Time's Up campaigns against sexual harassment and violence in recent months.
Nigeria's cultural traditions were highlighted as one of the biggest risks to women in the country, as well as sexual violence and human trafficking.
In Yemen, general access to healthcare is limited, following a humanitarian crisis in the country. Cultural traditions and discrimination against women were also found to be key concerns for females residing there.
Democratic Republic of Congo
After a United Nations warning that citizens faced "hellish living conditions" in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of war in the country, it ranked again as one of the most dangerous countries for women. Experts found it to be particularly bad where sexual violence was concerned.
Women in Pakistan are subjected to high risks from cultural, religious and traditional practices, with honor-based violence being commonplace in the country.
Despite lifting the decades-long driving ban for women earlier this month, Saudi Arabia ranked fifth. The main issue in the country according to activists is that the "guardianship policy" remains in place, meaning women must be granted permission by a male relative to work, travel, marry and seek some medical treatment.
Having been struck by conflict for almost three decades, Somalia was ranked as one of the most risky places for women to live. It was deemed particularly bad for access to healthcare and access to economic resources.
Due to the complete absence of law in Syria currently, the country was deemed extremely dangerous for women. Healthcare was found to be particularly bad for female Syrians, as well as sexual and non-sexual violence.
Afghanistan was ranked worst for access to healthcare, non-sexual violence and discrimination against women out of all the countries in the world. It was found to be second worst for how cultural traditions treat women, and it also ranked as high risk for human trafficking and sexual violence against women, hence its overall ranking as the second-most dangerous place in the world for women.
India ranked as the most dangerous country for women for the second time, with experts reporting that the levels of violence against women still at very levels despite backlash from the infamous Delhi bus gang rape which took place in 2012. It was found to be particularly bad where cultural traditions, sexual violence and human trafficking were concerned.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.