The United States makes many top 10 lists. Unfortunately, this top 10 list has severe consequences for the entire country. Who would have imagined how dangerous the U.S. has become for women and girls?
The Thomson Reuters Foundation surveyed 500 experts on women’s issues. Reuters just released the exclusive results. When the survey asked where women were most vulnerable to sexual violence, harassment, and being coerced into sex, the U.S. came in a surprising third.
Seven years ago, the most dangerous countries for women were: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. That has totally changed.
The recent global survey found India, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia took the top five spots for the most dangerous to women.
The purpose of the survey was to discover whether this 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.’
Reuters asked participants to list the top five most dangerous countries from the 193 United Nation members. The survey also asked which of the countries was worst on these variables:
‘Healthcare, economic resources, cultural or traditional practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.’
The experts said that the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns fighting sexual harassment and violence against women had opened up the world’s eyes about the dangers to women in the U.S.
Executive vice president of the Washington-based National Network to End Domestic Violence, Cindy Southworth, said:
‘People want to think income means you’re protected from misogyny, and sadly that’s not the case. We are going to look back and see this as a very powerful tipping point … We’re blowing the lid off and saying “#Metoo and Time’s Up”.’
The remaining top 10 countries for overall violence were: Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and Nigeria. Chief executive of the Freedom Fund, Nick Grono, which was the first private donor that focused solely on ending slavery, said:
‘In many countries the simple fact of being female creates a heightened risk of becoming a victim of slavery.’
The top three countries for women victims of an estimated $150 billion yearly human trafficking industry were India, Libya, and Myanmar.
Indian women face “human trafficking…sexual slavery and domestic servitude…forced marriage, stoning, and female infanticide.” A Karnataka state government official, Manjunath Gangadhara, said:
‘India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women … rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated. The (world’s) fastest growing economy and leader in space and technology is shamed for violence committed against women.’
India’s government data showed that reported cases of crime against women rose by 83 percent between 2007 and 2016, when there were four cases of rape reported every hour.
Director of advancement at Women for Afghan Women, Kimberly Otis, is based in the U.S. She said that women and girls faced “severe gender-based violence, abuse, illiteracy, poverty, and other human rights offences (sic):”
‘The ongoing war and conflict are getting worse in Afghanistan, which puts the lives of women and girls at increasing risk.’
The Afghani Public Health Minister, Ferozuddin Feroz said the country faced an ever-deteriorating security situation. Taliban fighters held large areas of Afghanistan, even though the war was almost 17-years-old.
‘Nowadays, suicide bombings and armed conflict is the third (highest) cause of deaths and disability in Afghanistan. Instead of focusing (spending) on maternal health, on nutritional status, we spend it on trauma.”
Syria held third place, due to its seven-year war. Syrians faced limitations to healthcare access plus sexual and non-sexual violence. Executive director of Women Now For Development in Syria, Maria Al Abdeh said:
‘There are so many dangers for girls and women. 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.’
Somalia faced over 20 years of war leaving the legal institutions weakened and building a “culture of violence.”
The last country to allow women to drive, Saudi Arabia, reported arrests of female activists. They included those supporting women drivers.
Founder of BASIRA (British Arabs Supporting Universal Women’s Rights) in the UK, Ahlam Akram, said:
‘One of the worst laws that prevent women from having equal opportunities is guardianship – because every woman is subjected to a male guardian. She cannot get a passport, cannot travel, sometimes she cannot work.’
The survey was conducted between March 26 and May 4 across the Americas, Europe, South East Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.
WARNING. Disturbing Tweet:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mark Ralston.