India is the worst place on earth to be a woman. On Tuesday, the Thompson Reuters Foundation released a new survey that ranks the worst places on earth to be a woman. Here is the list:
- Saudi Arabia
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- United States of America
Yes, you read that correctly. The United States was ranked the tenth most dangerous place on earth to be a woman. This list includes countries that are home to some of the most devastating conflicts in decades. Genocide, dictatorship, rape as a weapon of war, debilitating herdsmen clashes have made some of these countries on the list dangerous for all citizens, women most specifically, but people of all ages and gender have fallen victim to some of these atrocities.
India, the number one country on the list, is the fastest growing large economy in the world and is slated to be so for the next decade. Despite an incredibly progressive Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act being passed in 2005, many have criticized the act for not having the legal force needed for change and that is evident in India’s ranking as the worst place on earth to be a woman. Even after the horrific rape and murder of Jyoti Singh brought international criticism on the state of violence against women in India, little has been done to curb to change the status quo. Reported cases of crimes against women have risen by 83 percent and between 2007 and 2016 four cases of rape were reported every hour.
It’s not surprising that India made the top of this list considering the level of violence against women that continues to get worse.
But it is surprising that the United States made the top ten on this list. Reuters asked 550 experts in women’s issues to rank the 193 United Nations member states. They put the United States on the top ten. Experts call on the #MeToo movement to give context for this decision. The #MeToo movement has brought global attention to the pervasiveness of violence against women and harassment in the U.S. One in five women have been raped, and more than one in three have experienced rape, violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to 2010 statistics by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If the United States isn’t careful, it’s position on the list could climb. With Justice Kennedy retiring from the bench, President Trump has the opportunity to appoint another conservative justice, shifting the balance to a staunchly conservative bench. Experts are already speculating the end of Roe vs. Wade and caution against the loss of rights for women in the coming years.
This list from Reuters puts down on paper what we already knew. Being a woman almost anywhere in the world is dangerous. Even Nordic countries with extremely progressive policies for gender equality have shockingly high levels of intimate partner violence. How do women advocate for change? Join movements like #MeToo. Be a staunch advocate for women’s rights. Resist the patriarchy, even when the disappointments snowball. Maybe one day, Reuters won’t have to rank the most dangerous places on earth to be a woman because women will finally have the safety and equality they deserve as human beings.