Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world for women, according to a survey of gender experts by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by The Thomson-Reuters Foundation.
The ongoing conflict in the country, in tandem with high levels of violence, widespread poverty and dismal health care puts Afghanistan at the very bottom with respect to women’s safety and welfare.
Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women, said Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, a group that supports women social entrepreneurs, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
In addition, women who do attempt to speak out or take on public roles that challenge ingrained gender stereotypes of what is acceptable for women to do or not, such as working as policewomen or news broadcasters, are often intimidated or killed.”
Countries around the world were evaluated on such factors as overall perception of danger, access to healthcare, violence, cultural discrimination and human trafficking.
Thereafter, the next most dangerous countries for females are The Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia.
This survey shows that 'hidden dangers' like a lack of education or terrible access to healthcare are as deadly, if not more so, than physical dangers like rape and murder which usually grab the headlines, said Monique Villa, chief executive of Thomson-Reuters Foundation, according to BBC.
In Congo, which had been wracked by a bloody civil war, females of various ages face the constant threat of rape – Congo has the world’s highest rates of violence against women.
India was cited primarily for its high rates of female feticide, infanticide and human trafficking. Pakistan made the list for having some of the highest rates of dowry murder, so-called honour killings and early marriages.
Elisabeth Roesch of the International Rescue Committee in Washington told media: I think you have to look at all the dangers to women, all the risks women and girls face. If a woman can't access healthcare because her healthcare isn't prioritized, that can be a very dangerous situation as well.