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US Ranks As 10th Most Dangerous Country In World For Women

The World’s Top Ten Most Dangerous Countries For Women

The US Ranks as Third Most Dangerous for Sexual Violence, Sixth Most Dangerous for Non-Sexual Violence

The United States ranked as the 10th most dangerous country for women, the only Western nation to appear in the top 10.

The United States shot up in the rankings after tying joint third with Syria when respondents were asked which was the most dangerous country for women in terms of sexual violence including rape, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and the lack of access to justice in rape cases. It was ranked sixth for non-sexual violence.

The survey was taken after the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment went viral in October last year as Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, some dating back decades. Hundreds of women have since publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct and thousands have joined the #MeToo social media movement to share stories of sexual harassment or abuse.

World leaders vowed three years ago to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls by 2030, allowing them to live freely and safely to participate equally in political, economic and public life. But despite this pledge, it is estimated that one in three women globally experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. Child marriage is still rife, with almost 750 million women and girls married before their 18th birthday, resulting in teen pregnancies that can put their health at risk and limiting schooling and opportunities.

Sexual Violence

This includes rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape, rape by a stranger, the lack of access to justice in rape cases, sexual harassment and coercion into sex as a form of corruption. (Multiple countries can be tied in the list below.)

1.  India
2. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
3. Syria
3. United States
5. Congo
6. South Africa
7. Afghanistan
7. Pakistan
9. Mexico
10. Nigeria
10. Egypt
10. Somalia

Non-Sexual Violence

This includes conflict-related violence, domestic, physical and mental abuse.

1. Afganistan
2. Syria
3. India
4. Yemen
5. Pakistan
6. United States
7. Saudi Arabia
8. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
9. Somalia
9. Mexico

Other Areas of Abuse

The United States did not make the top ten most dangerous nations for women in four other areas surveyed.

Health care discrimination and lack of access to healthcare. The top three countries in order in this area were: Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia.

Discrimination in jobs, access to nutrition, education, and property rights. The top three were: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and India.

Cultural traditions including child marriage, forced marriage, genital mutilation, acid attacks, physical abuse, stoning, and female infanticide. The top three countries in this area were: India, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Human trafficking which includes domestic servitude, forced labor, bonded labor, forced marriage, and slavery. The worst countries in this area were:  India, Libya, and Myanmar.

About The Thomson Reuters Poll

Seven years ago a Thomson Reuters Foundation experts’ survey found the five most dangerous countries for women were Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. 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. We expanded our poll to the 10 most dangerous countries with some surprising results.

We contacted 548 experts focused on women’s issues including aid and development professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organization workers, journalists, and social commentators. We asked respondents to name the five most dangerous countries from the 193 United Nations member states. We then asked them to name the worst country in the six categories described above.

The survey involving 548 respondents was conducted online, by phone and in person between March 26 and May 4, 2018, with an even geographic spread across five regions – Europe, Africa, the Americas, South East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific. This approach was designed to ensure a fair geographical spread of respondents from both developing and developed countries.

Our list of experts was compiled from a database of women’s rights experts built by the Thomson Reuters Foundation team that runs the annual Trust Conference, from previous women’s polls conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and from key groups in various locations globally.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation attempted to interview a broadly representative sample based on the area of expertise. All respondents were treated anonymously unless the Foundation contacted them later to seek an on-the-record comment.

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