Worst countries in the world to be a woman

Unfortunately there are still many countries that do not enforce gender equality making it extremely difficult and often impossible for girls and women to be empowered and move up in society. Here are a list of some of the worst countries in the world to be a woman. Note though that there tends to be quite a large difference between the experience of urban women versus rural women.

    Bethann Hunt - Wikimeida

Afghanistan has an extremely high number of illiterate women compared to their male counterparts. Save the Children wrote in their May 2012 article of State of World Mothers that this is the 2nd worst country to be a mother as 1 woman in 11 dies in pregnancy or childbirth. The average age of a woman before she dies is 45. According to Amnesty International “The Taliban curtails the rights of girls and women, including the denial of education, employment, freedom of movement and political participation and representation.”

Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo can own property and participate in economic and political sectors, but they are still very limited due to legal constraints and a deeply embedded view that women are inferior. Urban women need to have their husbands' approval before opening a bank account, accepting a job or trading real estate. Rural women are not allowed to use contraceptives unless their husbands allow it which therefore increases their risk of getting HIV/AIDS. Also, in the northern part of the country, the illegal act of Female Genital Mutilation is still prevalent.

Iraq is another country that is extremely hard to live in as a woman. Being a country with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, opportunities outside of the home is extremely difficult. A woman's main role is seen as being the bearer of children, focusing their energy on rearing the children and agriculture. Many of the women in the Yezidi minority also have to deal with the threat of torture, rape and sexual violence on. Often women will wear a veil and black dress as to not draw attention to themselves and aren’t allowed to travel without a husband or brother.

Women in Pakistan are considered equal under the law and in religious practice. Unfortunately though, this mean very little in practice when it is not properly enforced. On average, women earn 82% less than men, have little to no protection from domestic violence and Iraq is seen as the second worst country in the world in terms of gender equality according to the 2014 World economic forum. It is a strong patriarchal society, but urban middle and upper class women are starting to receive more education and opportunities. Unfortunately, rural areas still see honor killings where women may be killed due to marrying against their family’s wishes, wanting to divorce or due to the fact that they have been raped and bring shame on the family.

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