10 Worst Countries For Women

10 Worst Countries For Women 10 Iran Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has significantly reverted political trends towards gender equality

In 1981, the United Nations brought into effect the CEDAW treaty, which aimed to establish a universal set of rights for women To date, Iran are one of just 5 member states not to have signed the treaty This has all lead women to be significantly undervalued by Iranian law For example, women are unable to leave the country without the permission of a husband or father Women are so undervalued in court that their testimonies are often given half the weight of a mans, and not accepted at all for certain crimes

Despite this, new penal code introduced in 2012 established the female age of criminal responsibility at just 8 years 9 months Law even dictates that if an Iranian man finds his wife cheating, he has the right to kill her and her lover 9 Afghanistan Before the Taliban rule in 1996, Afghanistan was a reasonably progressive country Its women first received the vote in 1919 and in 1923, their first constitution guaranteed equal rights for women

The Taliban stripped many of these rights and implemented a strict dress code for women Since US intervention ended the Taliban rule in 2001, laws have returned to more equal ground, but struggle to be enforced According to Human Rights Watch, a third of women are still married before 18 This often forces them out of education, leaving an average female education of just 4 years, where 63% of women are illiterate This leads to just 16% of Afghan women being employed, giving them control of just 4% of the country’s finances

All this creates a culture where men have more value than women, in which 60% of women in Afghanistan will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime 8 Syria Since 2011, civil war has sent Syria into one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history The conflict has perhaps been hardest on the women of the country, who have seen significant rises in gender-based violence and secret prisons, where they suffer torture and malnutrition Nurse Rima Mulla Othman found herself in one of these prisons in 2015 for the crime of tending to the injured in Deir ez-Zor

Despite her protest, her three-month-old son remained imprisoned with her until their release in 2017 The boy’s first word was ‘prison’, and his mother was so malnourished upon release he was taken to an orphanage until she recovered According to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, a quarter of syrian women experience violence by an intimate partner and only 17% regard their community as safe However, most are in no position to do anything about it, as just 12% of Syrian women are employed 7

Saudi Arabia In 2015, Saudi Arabia took a famous step forward by allowing women to vote for the first time Two years later, they went on to legalise women getting driving licences This may give the impression of a country on its way to gender equity, but it leaves out what Saudi women are still unable to do Women in Saudi Arabia have long been treated legally as minors, whose male guardians are known as ‘Mahrams’ These laws were loosened in 2018, but women still need permission from a father, husband or even son just to apply for passports, open a bank account, get married and even get certain surgeries

This legal inequality carries through to the court, where a woman’s testimony carries half the weight of a mans Women in Saudi Arabia don’t even have the freedom of wearing anything Historically, women who don’t wear full abaya robes in public spaces face beatings by the religious ‘Mutaween’ police 6 Egypt Despite campaigns from the US and UN to improve gender equality in the country, Egypt remains one of the hardest places in the world to live as a woman

Not only do Egyptian laws not mandate equal pay, but they also don’t have equal legal rights when it comes to marriage or divorce But these issues may be least of their worries, according to the UN’s 2017 Gender Equality Study in the Middle East and North Africa Of the 10,000 people surveyed, 50 percent of men believed that women deserve to be beaten sometimes, and a third of women even agreed The country is also one of the leaders in the horrific practice of Female Genital Cutting Unicef found that over 70% of Egyptian men believe it should continue, and despite banning the procedure in 2007, they also found over 87% of women aged 15-49 had been subjected to the act as of 2015

5 Yemen Already one of the poorest Arab countries, Yemen has also been locked in a devastating Civil War since 2015 The sense of lawlessness that now prevails in the country has significantly hurt Yemeni women In 2017, the United Nations Population Fund found that roughly 26 million women and girls in Yemen find themselves at risk of gender-based violence, and 52,000 are at risk of sexual violence

Even before, the country hadn’t been a haven for women Yemen has no women in parliament, and has never had a female head of state Thus, women aren’t legally mandated to equality in terms of pay, divorce and custody rights, and need a man’s permission to marry As a result, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security found that Yemeni women control roughly 1% percent of the country’s finances All this landed Yemen last place of 144 countries on the 2017 edition of the annual Global Gender Gap Report

4 Niger Women in Niger are afforded scarcely few rights, but have little opportunity to improve their circumstances, based on the scarcity of their education They receive an average 3 years of education, and 81% of women aged 20-24 have no education at all According to the ONE campaign, this leaves 83% of women aged 15 to 24 illiterate in the country Instead of receiving education, girls in Niger are frequently given the role of wife from a young age, hundreds of whom have been sold illegally to their husband

This adds to a culture which gives Niger the highest rate of child marriage in the world According to a 2017 UNICEF study, 3 out of every 4 Niger women will be married before their 18th birthday 28% will even marry before the legal age of 15, and Save the Children found that one in five adolescent women in Niger will give birth each year 3 Democratic Republic of Congo Despite being rich in natural resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the world's least developed countries

According to Peace Women, 612% of Congolese women live underneath the poverty threshold, a whole 10% more than their male counterparts As a result, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security calculated that women in the country control just 9% of its finances This financial disparity is also reflected in the significant differences in power Congolese women experience The annual Georgetown index also estimated that 64% of women in the Congo experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime

The country was also described by one UN representative in 2010 as the ‘rape capital of the world’ This epidemic was investigated by a study published in the American Journal of Public Health The study estimated that as of 2011, a staggering 12% of Congolese women have been raped, equating to about 48 women per hour 2 Pakistan The country of Pakistan doesn’t have any laws banning discrimination when hiring women, nor does it mandate that they recieve equal pay

It was only in 2017 that Pakistani law offered free medical care to victims of acid attacks Hundreds of these disfiguring attacks take place every year, the majority to women At the hands of ex partners and disapproving families, women also face the illegal ‘honor killings’ which take the lives of around 1000 women a year, but largely go unreported or investigated Often, these women were murdered simply for exercising their right to choose who they marry Despite this legal right, society offers women little choice, and 12% of Pakistani women aged 18-49 were married as children, translating to almost 5 million women

Pakistan did seem to be taking progressive steps when Benazir Bhutto was elected Prime Minister in 1988, but she too was assassinated in 2007 after a fall from power 1 Sudan The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security calculate that women in Sudan spend an average of just 3 years in education Subsequently, they control just 10% of the country’s finances But life in Sudan is perhaps most hard not just for women, but for married women

According to UNICEF, 34% of Sudanese women aged 20 to 24 were already married by the time they were 18 Suspiciously, 34% is the same as the number of Sudanese women aged 15-49 who believe a partner is justified in hitting his wife This all gives an idea of the indoctrination the country’s women face This is reflected in the 90% prevalence of Female Genital Cutting and laws which dictate that womens consent doesn’t have to be recognised by her husband Women who try to fight their partners off are regularly sentenced to death, as was the case for 19-year-old forced bride Noura Hussein, until her sentence was overturned in 2018

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