Methodology

The world’s most dangerous countries for women 2018

Scope

The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, the world’s largest news and information provider, conducted a global perception poll of experts in women’s issues to highlight the most dangerous countries for women.

We set out to repeat a poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2011 on the same topic that found the five most dangerous countries for women were seen to be Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. We wanted to see if the situation for women had changed in the past seven years regarding the overall risks faced by women, and specifically regarding healthcare, economic resources and discrimination, cultural, tribal, religious or customary practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.

We contacted 548 experts focused on women’s issues including aid and development professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organisation workers, journalists, and social commentators.

Questions we asked

We asked respondents to name the five most dangerous countries from the 193 United Nations member states. We then asked them to name the worst country in each of the following six categories.

Click a question below to see the polling results 1 is worst

Healthcare In your view, what is the most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of health? This includes general health access to optometrists, dentists, general doctors and specialist doctors who have expertise knowledge in disabilities, diseases or dealing with trauma. When we talk about health, we are also referring to the lack of healthcare, maternal mortality, awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive health including family planning, contraception and other general female health care.

Discrimination In your view, what is the most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of the lack of access to economic resources/discrimination? This includes job discrimination; an inability to make a livelihood; discriminatory land, property or inheritance rights; a lack of access to education and a lack of access to adequate nutrition.

Cultural Traditions In your view, what is the most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of cultural, tribal and religious traditions or customary practices? This includes acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage; forced marriage, stoning, physical abuse or mutilation as a form of punishment/retribution and female infanticide.

Sexual Violence In your view, what is the most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of sexual violence? This includes rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape, rape by a stranger, the lack of access to justice in rape cases, sexual harassment and coercion into sex as a form of corruption.

Non-Sexual Violence In your view, what is the most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of non-sexual violence? This includes conflict-related violence, domestic, physical and mental abuse.

Human Trafficking In your view, what is the most dangerous country in the world for women in terms of human trafficking? This includes domestic servitude, forced labour; bonded labour, forced marriage and sexual slavery.

The Polling

The Thomson Reuters Foundation asked experts in women's issues which of the 193 United Nations member states they thought were most dangerous for women overall and in terms of healthcare, economic resources and discrimination, cultural, tribal, religious or customary practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation's eighth annual perception poll was a repeat of the Foundation’s first poll in 2011 that found Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia were seen as the most dangerous countries for women.

The questionnaire was the same as the one used in 2011 which was drafted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation but we expanded the poll to look at the 10 most dangerous countries. The methodology for 2018, as well as the ranking and results, were produced in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Labs, a global team of data scientists, research scientists, full stack developers, and designers specialising in data science and analytics, data visualisation, artificial intelligence and blockchain.

The survey involving 548 respondents was conducted online, by phone and in person between March 26 and May 4 with an even geographic spread across 5 regions – Europe, Africa, the Americas, South East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific. This approach was designed to ensure a fair geographical spread of respondents from both developing and developed countries.

Our list of experts was compiled from a database of women’s rights experts built by the Thomson Reuters Foundation team that runs the annual Trust Conference, from previous women’s polls conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and from key groups in various locations globally.

Polling Data

For the first question each respondent could list five countries. Each country got a score based on the number of times the country was provided as an answer. This score represented one quarter (25 percent) of the overall mark.

Questions two to seven were given the remaining three-quarters of the mark. This was based on the number of times a country was provided as the answer across each of the six categories (health, economic access, etc.).

We then had the weighted scores to give a final score. This is the overall score we then used to rank countries.

The Sampling

The Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted this survey online, on the telephone and in person between between Monday March 26 and Friday May 4, 2018. Those interviewed included aid and development professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organisation workers, journalists, and social commentators.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation attempted to interview a broadly representative sample based on area of expertise. All respondents were treated anonymously unless the Foundation contacted them later to seek an on-the-record comment.

In total 759 experts accessed the survey between March 26 and May 4 with 548 responses which corresponds to a response rate of 72.2 percent.