Pakistan ranks 3rd on list of most dangerous countries for women

Published: June 15, 2011

Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan are the world's most dangerous countries for women due to a barrage of threats. PHOTO: AFP

Contingency plan crafted to safeguard lives and properties of people in case floods similar to last year's hit the region. DESIGN:  MOHSIN ALAM Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan are the world's most dangerous countries for women due to a barrage of threats. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan are the world’s most dangerous countries for women due to a barrage of threats ranging from violence and rape to dismal health care and “honour killings”, a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll showed on Wednesday.

India and Somalia ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the global perceptions survey by Trust Law, the Foundation’s legal news service.

Trust Law asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions of danger as well as by six risks: health threats, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, cultural or religious factors, lack of access to resources and trafficking.

Following are key facts on each of the five countries, ranked in order of danger.

1. Afghanistan

Beleaguered by insurgency, corruption and dire poverty, Afghanistan ranked as most dangerous to women overall and came out worst in three of the poll’s key risk categories: health,non-sexual violence and economic discrimination.

* Women in Afghanistan have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth.

* Some 87% of women are illiterate.

* 70-80% of girls and women face forced marriages.

2. Congo

Still reeling from a 1998-2003 war and accompanying humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4 million, Democratic Republic of Congo ranked second due mainly to staggering levels of sexual violence.

* About 1,150 women are raped every day, or some 420,000 ayear, according to a recent report in the American Journal ofPublic Health.

* The Congolese Women’s Campaign Against Sexual Violence puts the number of rapes at 40 women a day.

* 57 pct of pregnant women are anaemic.

3. Pakistan

Those polled cited cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women, including acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse.

* More than 1,000 women and girls are victims of “honour killings” every year, according to Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission.

* 90% of women in Pakistan face domestic violence.

4. India

Female foeticide, child marriage and high levels of trafficking and domestic servitude make the world’s largest democracy the fourth most dangerous place for women, the poll showed.

* 100 million people, mostly women and girls, are involved in trafficking in one way or another, according to former Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta.

* Up to 50 million girls are “missing” over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide.

* 44.5% of girls are married before the age of 18.

5. Somalia

One of the poorest, most violent and lawless countries, Somalia ranked fifth due to a catalogue of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.

* 95% of women face FGM, mostly between the ages of 4 and 11.

* Only 9% of women give birth at a health facility.

* Only 7.5% of parliament seats are held by women.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • D. Powers
    Jun 15, 2011 - 11:34AM

    Way to go tiger, just two more places to conquer and we shall be at the top. Remember the top two nations have the “advantage” of active war going on in those countries. This is unfair, the researchers should have factored that out to place us at the top.Recommend

  • waqar zafar
    Jun 15, 2011 - 11:51AM

    Abolish the discriminatory laws in our country which have made women as second class citizens by law in our country.The infamous hudood ordinance has to be repealed ,not merely amended.the law of evidence,the laws of inheritence have to be changed to reduce the severe discrimination against women.This discrimination happens when you allow religion to dictate to the state how its matters are to be run.No religion should be allowed to interfere in the matters of the state.

    women are equal human beings,those misogynistic dinosaurs who don’t accept this and insist on keeping a woman under the man’s feet have to be socially ostracised and the ulema preaching the inferiority of women by using religion have to be arrested and put in jail before they do further damage to our society.Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:21PM

    Oh please cut the bull! Our media should also take some responsibilities by making sure which news to bring into limelight and which not. Bias trash work.Recommend

  • COMMON SENSE
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:31PM

    disagree…these are tall claims. tribune has never posted any news or article that shows any positive aspect on behalf of Pakistan. It searches and scoops out all negative and degradive news about pakistan. Australia is the most dangerous country for women.you can take the information about their women last year.Recommend

  • farhan aziz
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:58PM

    what hope can women have when religion has declared that women are inferior to men and must be ashamed of their bodies( which have to be hidden completely to prevent corruption of full of imaan men). when wives are told that their husbands are their ‘majazi khudas’ then what good can women expect? making husbands the gods of women ,makes women the slaves.this religious misogyny has to end.Recommend

  • Usman Ahmad
    Jun 15, 2011 - 1:02PM

    Another medal of shame!Recommend

  • Seconds COMMON SENSE
    Jun 15, 2011 - 1:53PM

    I Agree to the core.
    Its just that all media want people to know is Nothing but the chaos and incompetence. So as even if some good persona tries to bombard the positivity, people with demoralized souls won’t believe them. Recommend

  • sam
    Jun 15, 2011 - 2:13PM

    its sad that the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ahve forgotten the farewell surmon of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) when he spoke of women and their rights… how sad…Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jun 15, 2011 - 2:43PM

    Oh wow! Somalia is better even it does FGM to its 95% women population. The data sampling is really surprising in this report.Recommend

  • Talha
    Jun 15, 2011 - 2:59PM

    Hey, look on the bright side.

    We beat India.Recommend

  • Mariam
    Jun 15, 2011 - 3:01PM

    This is just a perception poll. Who are the people that answered the poll and what was their geographical location?Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 15, 2011 - 4:38PM

    It’s about numbers, not percentage. Can you believe that Pakistan (or India – yes :P) is behind countries like Saudi Arabia or Iran ? I mean, to put Pakistan at 3 and India at 4 seems really improbable.Recommend

  • Suny
    Jun 15, 2011 - 6:21PM

    Rubbish of a poll…

    90% of women in Pakistan face domestic violence!!! Yeah right. Someone needs to get their facts straight. Oh wait… these aren’t facts, just perceptions of some unknown wise-guy wannabes (read 213 gender experts).

    But I am not surprised with regards to violence on Pakistani women, as long as we are not talking about who is the one doing that violence. I mean Aafia Siddiqui was abducted in broad daylight and later found defaced and brutalized by Foreign Forces! Or the number of women killed by drone attacks conducted by those same Foreign Forces. I bet if we had a poll for the country that kills most women instead of the country in which they are killed, we’d have other countries topping the charts.Recommend

  • Yass
    Jun 15, 2011 - 6:43PM

    @COMMON SENSE:
    When’s the last time you seen media reporting someone not being raped?
    what positive things do you want them to say?

    Forgetting that, what’s more important to you, what people think of your country, or how well people are treated in your country?Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2011 - 7:23PM

    There is no information regarding who conducted the poll, how many answered the poll, when was it conducted etc. This is not based on an actual research study therefore I would have to say that the results represents a very distorted image of the reality and seem skewed. However, I am not surprised by this article. The facts mentioned under each country are pretty old. But I hope this ranking might increase the awareness regarding women’s rights in Pakistan and the countries mentioned in the article. Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2011 - 8:02PM

    How about we get some comments from the Pakistani women about if this poll is wrong and unfair? I get the feeling the members of the “pelvic staff of divine might club” are biased.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Jun 15, 2011 - 9:52PM

    Now this is just plain silly. These sort of garbage reports by foreigners should not be taken seriously.Recommend

  • Pakistani Female
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:14AM

    I totally agree. Women are suppressed in Pakistan and the sad fact is that most women don’t know any better and tend to accept themselves as inferior to men. The ostriches here should take out their hand from sand and accept the truth. I moved out of Pakistan last year for my studies and I’ve a great quality of life here… something that Pakistan won’t be able to offer for a long time now.Recommend

  • Sara
    Jun 17, 2011 - 4:20PM

    Please, for once, don’t make this about America and the ‘foreigners’.
    It is undeniable that many women have been treated cruelly on these lands for a long long time, even before it was termed as Pakistan. Even if you don’t agree with the figures, it is not base-less. Please, just take a moment and feel sorry for these women, and promise yourselves that you will teach our next generations better. Recommend

  • Wasif
    Jun 21, 2011 - 3:21PM

    @farhan aziz:

    “what hope can women have when religion has declared that women are inferior to men and must be ashamed of their bodies”

    What religion is that? Surely not Islam. I suggest you buy a translation of the Quran (perhaps an English translation would be suitable). Start with the fourth Surah, Al Nisa (Women). I think that will make you retract your comment.Recommend

  • Babar Baig
    Jun 21, 2011 - 5:14PM

    We are ahead of India atleast in one thing.Recommend

  • Jun 21, 2011 - 5:54PM

    Yet another milestone by our so-called democratic govt. Congratulation Mr. President and PM for our 3rd position.Recommend

  • KM
    Jun 21, 2011 - 6:01PM

    Welcome to ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of Pakistan OR is ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF MULLAHS? Is this what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wished for, in his Ummah?? There should be a Sitara e Jurrat for us all … Bravo!Recommend

  • Modasar
    Jun 22, 2011 - 4:07AM

    So ashmed …will the women of pakistan continue being treating like this for rest of their lives. im getting my family outta of there!Recommend

  • Noor
    Jun 23, 2011 - 9:50AM

    Totally false propaganda.

    The writer doesn’t have access to all classes of society, I can bet that the figure is no more than 25%.

    I’ve observed in all ethnicities, social classes & geographical areas of Pakistani society, the Muslim households love & respect women even more than the males.

    I went to China. We discussed our social structure. The women over there were envying the Pakistani women, where most are given whatever they need within their households & still if they like to work, they’re encouraged to use their talent for the good of society.
    Whereas in China, even the young women could not avail more than 2 weeks off annually, to visit their parents, and without job, they could not have their kitchen running, even it is true for married women & the western women.

    The west is jealous of the comfortabl living in countries like Pakistan, and thus provoking the Pakistani women to indulge in brand-war of frustration & discontentment.Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 11:05AM

    @Noor:
    If that isn’t a joke, if you could get some Pakistani women to back you up on here. I’ll shut my junk in a car door and pay someone to drive down the bumpiest road they can find at high speed. I’ll even film it for proof of keeping my end of the agreement up.

    It’s not about the male opinion of the situation. Of course you’d defend it. It’s the victims(women) who are the rightful judges of the situation. If you didn’t see their treatment as positive, you wouldn’t do it. If the women didn’t think their treatment was negative they wouldn’t be speaking out.

    I’ve yet to ever meet a man who abuses a woman that doesn’t say he treats her well right up until the time he kills or cripples her.Recommend

  • Ihk
    Jun 28, 2011 - 4:44PM

    @Mark:
    I am speaking on behalf of the educated, liberated, professional women of Pakistan, like myself.
    You will find a wide spectrum of social classes in Pakistan. Here we find men generally chauvinistic in nature but due to educated mass mostly in urban areas, this tendency is somewhat restricted to the rurals. We still find crimes such as ‘honor killing’ prevalent mostly in these areas and where there is strong hold of barbaric traditions/rituals – meaning no awareness of the true teachings of Islam.
    Yes, women like us do exist. And in great number too. But unfortunately the other numbers are high as well.
    It’s imperitive for us to stand up for those who are subjugated, especially women, and work for their welfare. Otherwise, we will never be able to lessen this massive divide between the liberated and the suppressed.Recommend

  • qays
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:23AM

    @Saad Durrani:
    i just laughed your reaction about FGM and i just surprised your ignorance towards FGM. let me put you in small context you can understand, FGM is traditional treatment to prevent any kinds of disease in the future and it is better because it is safe and purity in the long run.Recommend

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