#1 AfganistanBeleaguered 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 pct of women are illiterate. * 70-80 pct of girls and women face forced marriages.
#2 CongoStill 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 a year, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Public 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 anemic.
#3 PakistanThose 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 pct of women in Pakistan face domestic violence. * 44.5 pct of girls are married before the age of 18.
#4 IndiaFemale 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 pct of girls are married before the age of 18.
#5 SomaliaOne of the poorest, most violent and lawless countries, Somalia ranked fifth due to a catalog of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. * 95 pct of women face FGM, mostly between the ages of 4 and 11. * Only 9 pct of women give birth at a health facility. * Only 7.5 pct of parliament seats are held by women.
These five countries are the world's most dangerous countries for women according to a Thomas Reuters Foundation expert poll released on Wednesday, due to a barrage of threats ranging from violence and rape to dismal healthcare and honor killings. In the global perceptions survey by TrustLaw (www.trust.org/trustlaw), the Foundation's legal news service, they 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.
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