The U.S. has been ranked in the top 10 most dangerous countries for women, making it the only Western nation to be named among the world's worst guarantors of female rights and safety.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation surveyed 500 experts to determine where women were most at risk. Countries were ranked in six key areas: health care, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, cultural practices, discrimination and human trafficking.
Nine of the top 10 nations were in Asia, the Middle East or Africa. The only Western nation included was the U.S., which the foundation said was directly related to the #MeToo movement that rocked American society in the wake of rape and sexual harassment allegations against high-profile figures in 2017.
America was ranked third with Syria in terms of danger of sexual violence, including rape, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and the lack of access to justice in rape cases. The next worst, in the opinion of those surveyed, was the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For nonsexual violence—including conflict-related violence and forms of domestic physical and mental abuse—the U.S. was ranked sixth. Syria, now in its seventh year of a catastrophic civil war, was ranked third overall.
America did not rank in the top 10 worst countries for human trafficking, health care, discrimination or dangers associated with cultural traditions. Its low performance for sexual and nonsexual violence, however, was enough to get it into the top 10 worst offenders.
India took the top spot. It was the worst performing in three categories: the risk of sexual violence and harassment, the danger of traditional cultural practices and the threat of becoming a victim of human trafficking, sexual slavery and domestic servitude. The report cited acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse as some of the most notable dangers facing Indian women.
The foundation published a similar survey in 2011, which chose the top five most dangerous nations for women. All five were featured in the 2018 report. India was named first in terms of danger this year, Afghanistan second, Somalia fourth, Pakistan sixth and Democratic Republic of Congo seventh. Along with the U.S. and Syria, the list was completed by Yemen in eighth and Nigeria in ninth place.
"World leaders vowed three years ago to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls by 2030, allowing them to live freely and safely, to participate equally in political, economic and public life," the foundation said. "But despite this pledge it is estimated that one in three women globally experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime."