News & Politics

Study: U.S. Makes List of Top Ten Most Dangerous Countries for Women

N. Korean women react during a meeting in China's Liaoning province. Tens of thousands of N. Korean women have been sold as brides in China, mostly to poor farmers near the border with North Korea. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

A study is circulating that purports to make the United States out as the tenth most dangerous country for women to live. Tenth, ahead of countries like China, Iran, and Iraq. The Thomson Reuters Foundation performed the study and it has caught the eye of progressives and media alike, particularly on social media.

Here’s the top ten list:

  1. India
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Syria
  4. Somalia
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Democratic Republic of Congo
  8. Yemen
  9. Nigeria
  10. USA

As if the talking points aren’t bad enough, a closer look shows the “study” isn’t based on any empirical data of any kind, but, rather, was biased and skewed from the start — or at the least, hardly scientific. First, the Foundation admits it conducted a “global perception poll of experts” and they did this by contacting “548 experts focusing on women’s issues, aid and developmental professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, non-government organization workers, journalists and social commentators.” These “experts” gave their “perception” about six key areas: healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, and human trafficking.

The U.S. only ranked in the top ten in two of the six categories: non-sexual violence (#6) and sexual violence (#3).

Not everybody was impressed with the results.

Indeed, not only is the methodology completely flawed — perception is by no means an indicator of reality — but on the six main issues they studied, America is a far safer and a much freer country than North and South Korea and China, which didn’t even make the top ten “most dangerous.” In China, women can’t bear multiple children and in North Korea there’s no freedom of speech or freedom of the press — yet the United States makes the top ten list?

While the United States might seem dangerous due to the explosion of the #MeToo movement, actual statistics about violence, rape, and women’s freedoms prove otherwise. In the future, foundations with as much repute and influence as Thomson Reuters should either commit to a scientific methodology or admit that these are essentially the opinions of a select few.