Most women around the world encounter numerous challenges in their everyday life. In many developing countries, women are subjected to harsh cultures and ways of life that pose a danger to their lives. The main issues that affect women’s livelihood are retrogressive cultures, sexual violence, discrimination, and human trafficking. According to a recent survey, the top ten countries considered most dangerous for women include United States, Nigeria, Yemen, DRC, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, and India.
10. United States
The United States is an advanced country with a population of approximately 325 million residents. Although the United States is considered as a place of safety and freedom, many women in the country suffer from rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and emotional abuse. For a long time, violence against women in the US went on unnoticed until the #Metoo campaign started in 2017. The campaigns emboldened many victims to speak up against unfair treatment of women. According to the CDC, one out of five women has suffered rape and more than one out of three women has experienced violence or harassment. As a result of the widespread risk of women’s lives, United States is among the ten countries considered the most dangerous for women. The United States is the only developed nation on the list.
Nigeria is a West African federal republic and Africa’s most populous nation. The country is home to more than 186 million residents. Nigeria is known for its high rate of crime. Often, women are victims of the many criminal activities that happen in the country. The dangers endured by Nigerian women include physical abuse, psychological abuse, rape, and sexual violence. Additionally, according to research, close to 70% of victims of violence suffer abuse from their husbands. As a result of high poverty rates in the country, most women suffer abuse in silence because they are not empowered. Nigeria is listed as the ninth country in the world considered to be the most dangerous for women.
Yemen is an independent Arab nation in Western Asia. The country with a population of approximately 26 million people has been under civil war since 2011. Yemen is infamous for violence against women. Human right activists say that women have been the primary victims of the war in Yemen. More than one million women most of whom are either pregnant or breastfeeding suffer from malnutrition due to the limited access to food in the war-torn nation. The poor state of healthcare in Yemen has put the lives of approximately 75,000 pregnant women at risk of developing life-threatening complications. Women in Yemen also suffer from forced early marriages which is detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Due to the high prevalence of violence on Yemeni women, Yemen is the world’s eighth most dangerous country for women.
7. Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a nation situated in Central Africa. The country has a population of over 78 million residents. DR Congo is one of the harshest nations for women. The country has been engaged in civil war for more than a decade. Unfortunately, women are often targeted in the conflict. In some areas, as high as 90% of women have been victims of sexual violence. These women are left with psychological pain, physical injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies. Additionally, women in DR Congo lack access to quality healthcare services which is essential for a healthy population. The Democratic Republic of Congo is ranked the seventh country in the world as the most dangerous for women.
Pakistan is situated in the Southern region of Asia. The country has a massive population of over 212 million residents. Pakistan has experienced political instability since it attained independence. Women in Pakistan face many dangers in their daily lives. A humanitarian organization in the country noted more than 1,000 incidents of honor killing performed on Pakistani women in 2003. Domestic violence, sexual assault, and forced marriages are also prevalent in the country. Pakistanh is listed sixth out of the ten most dangerous countries for women.
5. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is an independent nation located in the Western part of Asia. It has a population of roughly 33 million people. The country is known for its oppressive culture on women. All Saudi women must seek permission from a male guardian at all times. This system is very pervasive and restricts the freedom of women in the country. It was not until June 2018 that Saudi women were allowed to drive in the country. In the country, women cannot hold leadership positions, and there are no laws that criminalize rape and violence against women. As a result, women suffer from sexual violence, forced marriages, domestic violence and discrimination. Saudi Arabia is the fifth most dangerous nation in the world for women to live.
Somalia is an independent nation located in the horn of Africa. The country has been under civil unrest for the past two decades. Women have borne the brunt of unrest in the country. Somalia is known for its widespread abuse of women. It is ranked as the fourth most dangerous country for women to live. According to a Women’s rights activists, women in Somalia are in permanent fear of being raped. Some of the dangers encountered by Somali women include domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced early marriage, oppression, and female genital mutilation. The country’s laws do not provide adequate protection for women against abuse. Additionally, Somalia lacks adequate health facilities to cater to victims of sexual violence.
Syria is a country in the Western region of Asia. In recent years, it has been engaged in armed war with some of its neighbors and other international communities. It is ranked as the world’s most violent nation and the third most dangerous for women to live. The country has countless cases of sexual violence, domestic abuse, rape, forced marriages, and oppression against women. Most victims of abuse keep silent to avoid stigmatization. The country lacks a proper justice system to punish offenders and therefore allows for continued violation of women’s right.
Afghanistan is a sovereign republic situated in the central region of Asia. The country is home to approximately 35 million people. Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous nations in the world for women to live. It comes in second on the list, and in in 2017, about 3,778 incidents of violence against women were reported. Such cases include rape, sexual harassment, forced prostitution, domestic abuse, and even murder. Although the government has set laws to deter violence against women, little or no action is taken against perpetrators of violence.
India is a sovereign nation in the southern region of Asia. It is the second most populous country in the world having about 1.2 billion residents. India is classified as the world’s most dangerous country for women. The nation has rampant cases of rape, acid attacks, sexual harassment, early marriages, forced labor, and sexual slavery all affecting women. India has had to deal with violence against women for a long time. Despite Indian authorities introducing strict laws against violation of women’s rights, the rate of violence on women has not changed.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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