Targeted violence against female public officials, dismal healthcare and desperate poverty make Afghanistan the world’s most dangerous country in which to be born a woman, according to a global survey…
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Pakistan, India and Somalia feature in descending order after Afghanistan in the list of the five worst states, the poll among gender experts shows.
The appearance of India, a country rapidly developing into an economic super-power, was unexpected. It is ranked as extremely hazardous because of the subcontinent’s high level of female infanticide and sex trafficking.
Others were less surprised to be on the list. Informed about her country’s inclusion, Somalia’s women’s minister, Maryan Qasim, responded: “I thought Somalia would be first on the list, not fifth…”
India is the fourth most dangerous country. “India’s central bureau of investigation estimated that in 2009 about 90% of trafficking took place within the country and that there were some 3 million prostitutes, of which about 40% were children,” the survey found.
Forced marriage and forced labour trafficking add to the dangers for women. “Up to 50 million girls are thought to be ‘missing’ over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide,”, the UN population fund says, because parents prefer to have young boys rather than girls…
Monique Villa, the chief executive of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said: “Hidden dangers – like a lack of education or terrible access to healthcare – are as deadly, if not more so, than physical dangers like rape and murder which usually grab the headlines…
“Empowering women tackles the very roots of poverty. In the developing world when a woman works, her children are better fed and better educated because they spend their money for their family…”
Each country was also ranked in terms of six risk factors including: health, discrimination and lack of access to resources, cultural and religious practices, sexual violence, human trafficking and conflict-related violence.
RTFA for details on each. The core study is available here [.pdf].
I’ve only featured the inclusion of India in this post because – as the article noted – it was the only surprise in the group.