Where to Be a Woman

What awaits you if you’re growing up in India, in Russia or in Canada respectively?

The life a woman lives is highly determined by the place she grows up in. A look at the Trust Law ranking G20 countries: the worst and the best for women.

Out of the 20 countries with the biggest economies, India (ranked 20) is the worst place to be born as a girl. Besides the atrocities of pre-natal sex selection and female foeticides, women are also up to “sexual trafficking, domestic slave labour, domestic violence and high maternal mortality” as well as child labour. According to the TrustLaw research, 52% of the women in India believe it’s justifiable for a man to beat his wife. 44,5% of the girls in India are married off before they turn 18 – often the age is much lower than that.

Second from below is Saudi Arabia (19) where women got the right to vote in 2011 and “legally as well as socially women are second-class citizens”. Further, “women aren’t allowed to drive and a man’s testimonial in court is worth the testimony of two women.” Even if women do get a good education, they usually do not get a job: 64.6% of women with tertiary education are unemployed.

The third worst G20 country for women is Indonesia (18) according to TrustLaw. Here, outstanding is the number of women who claim to have been sexually harassed at the workplace: 90%. “Violence, child marriage, sexual trafficking, harassment and exploitation make Indonesia dangerous for women while health services are poor.” Every hour one woman dies in Indonesia during child birth.

Further in the middle, ranked 13th is Russia from where around 58000 women are trafficked every year. “Domestic and gender-based violence are widespread in Russia” but there is no domestic violence law and therefore no justice or legal help. The number is outrageous: 14’000 women die anually from domestic violence. On the other hand, only 13.4% of the seats in the lower house of parliament are held by women.

Further up the latter, ranked 9th, is Argentina. Here we have an estimate of 500’000 clandestine – and therefore dangerous – abortions each year. “Women suffer from a lack of good healthcare and poor access to sexual and reproductive education and services, particularly outside Buenos Aires.” The percentage of women in the lower house of parliament is higher than in Russia but still low: 37.4%.

It’s ok to be a women in the UK, TrustLaw believes and ranks the country third even if only 22.3% of judges and 17% of ministers are female. “Women benefit from free healthcare, good access to education and opportunities in business but remain underrepresented in government.” The average gender pay-gap is “only” 18.6%.

Even better: Germany (2). “A female head of state is a major boost but Germany fares worse than many European states in terms of women in the boardroom.” Gender pay-gap is again up to 21.6% and women are struggling to find kindergarden places for their children.

The best G20 country for women seems to be Canada where 62% of university graduates are female. The country does show the way to go with “policies promoting women’s rights and well-enforced laws against violence and exploitation.” Also, 1/3 federally appointed judges are female which is a start.

More about where to be a woman not only in the G20 countries: No country for women

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