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Safest Places for Women to Live and Work

By Rich_Maloof Aug 7, 2012 4:36PM

Photo: Michael Coyne/Getty ImagesEach year, the G20 conference gathers countries of advanced and emerging economies to confer on international relations and trends in global finance. As evidenced by the now-routine protests and demonstrations surrounding each meeting, the global economy has far-reaching impact on the well-being of people around the world.

Before this year’s conference in Mexico, TrustLaw conducted a poll of 370 experts in gender and development to rank how good each of the 19 member countries is for women. TrustLaw, “a global hub for free legal assistance and news and information on good governance and women’s rights,” used the following criteria in their ranking:

1. Quality of health
2. Freedom from violence
3. Political participation
4. Workplace opportunities
5. Access to resources (i.e. education, property rights)
6. Freedom from trafficking and slavery

The results have been shared in a set of infographics laced with facts and stats that are alternately eye-popping and heart-breaking. Even the top-rated countries have plenty of room for progress. With the US ranking only No. 6 in the poll, the results reflect how far even a uniquely wealthy Western nation needs to come in improving the quality of women’s lives.

A few observations shared by TrustLaw:

Australia ranks high at No. 4, yet 1 in 3 women there will experience physical violence in their lifetime. Nearly 1 in 5 (19.1 percent) have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

India is the worst G20 country for women. Said a representative of Save The Children UK, “In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes, and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour.”

China (No. 14) has extraordinary levels of gender discrimination and is darkly marked by “son preference.” According to statistics provided by the World Bank, 1.09 million girls were dead or “missing” at birth due to infanticide in 2008.

Russia (No. 13) continues to have a widespread problem with prostitution domestically, and 57,750 women are trafficked from the country every year. In Brazil (No. 11), a quarter million children are estimated to be involved in prostitution.

Germany (No. 2) has a female head of state, and the life expectancy there for women is 83 years.

Saudi Arabia, at No. 18, is a wealthy kingdom but is heavily influenced by an ultra-conservative form of Islam requiring women to submit to men in nearly every aspect of their lives. Only last year were Saudi women given the right to vote. There is no law against domestic violence to women.

The United States ranked at No. 6, with due credit for civil rights, protecting victims of domestic violence, and workplace opportunities. But debates over reproductive rights — with 92 anti-abortion provisions enacted at state level in 2011 — and lack of affordable healthcare stranding nearly 23 million uninsured left the US trailing five other nations.

Canada provides access to healthcare and places a premium on education, which are critical components in earning our northern neighbor the poll’s No. 1 ranking.

Photo: Michael Coyne/Getty Images

123Comments
Jun 6, 2014 12:06AM
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All the single ladies hands up!!!! A must read…

Aug 8, 2012 3:09AM
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Guys guys...Let's keep an open mind here and remember not all sex is consensual. There is such a thing as rape or health issues concerning pregnancy. Yes there are women out there who don't use contreception, get pregnant, and abort the fetus. But theres no reason to generalize everyone just because some idiots don't know how to think ahead. Thers also no reason to blame a woman who gets raped and wants to abort the baby she ends up getting pregnant with. If a woman gets pregnant and finds out that she cannot give birth to the baby w/o risking her or the babies life would you rly hate her if she choose to abort the baby or would u reward her if she decided to go thro with it, even if it meant she wud die and the child would be motherless/the baby would die and the mother would be heartbroken... Let's not throw God or religious views into the mix, when it all comes down to it were dealing with people and their own decisions.
Aug 8, 2012 2:26AM
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I think that if conditions continue the way they are in the United States it's quite possible Canada will begin seeing an increase in their population. I've heard many times overall living conditions are much better in Canada.
Aug 8, 2012 1:12AM
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Where I'm concerned,I really want to go abroad!!!As everybody knows,China has the laragest number of people!  A closed competition among  teenagers is on show .

I'm a new comer and I'm not familiar with the MSN.Wish your forgiveness!

Aug 8, 2012 12:32AM
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Women have higher violence in the US because men are afraid to call 911 and report their wife is threatening them with a fry pan. Few women may call the cops on their husbands but alot less men are reporting their wives.
Aug 7, 2012 11:44PM
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Men are far more likely to be victims of violence, where's our list of safest countries?!?!?
Aug 7, 2012 11:40PM
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This article smells of political bias.
Aug 7, 2012 11:12PM
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And for those radicals on the right that don't believe health care is an unalienable right, look at the two countries on top:  Canada and Germany and yes they have health care for all and all the countries in Europe have also free health care for all.  Heck even third world countries, not only do they believe health care  is an unalieanable right, but provide it also.  I wonder when we will join the rest of the world.  The supposedly  richest and most powerful nation in the world  and still at the bottom of the industrialized world.  It's more than shameful, it's obscene.
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