The Thomson Reuters Foundation recently published a contrived poll of 550 experts in women’s studies about the most “dangerous” countries for women, and the result seems to suggest facts no matter so long as whatever is said fits the prescribed narrative. The United States astonishingly made the top ten “most dangerous countries in the world for women” in the survey, and was tied for third with Syria in terms of sexual assault and rape.
To claim that the United States would make the list of top ten most dangerous countries for women is beyond disingenuous; its outrageous. There are more than ten war zones in the world right now (Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, the Congo, Myanmar, Mali, Afghanistan, Somalia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Yemen, and Iraq). In these war zones, women are regularly and routinely raped, murdered, and enslaved.
Syria alone has claimed almost half a million lives. The Islamic State gained international infamy for routinely enslaving women and using them as sex slaves. Yemen, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia, and Iraq are also plagued by similarly brutal insurgencies. In Yemen, more than seven million starve to death as a civil war rages on. In Libya, militias run migrant camps and auction off women and children at slave markets they have created. The Congolese government is accused of using rape as a terror weapon on its own population. Government soldiers were ordered to rape mothers and daughters on top of the bodies of their husbands.
Beyond the brutal war zones and hotspots, violence and oppression are still horrifically imposed on the world’s women. In the Middle East and several other countries, women are restricted to second-class citizens. These countries sentence women to death for adultery and apostacy. Honor killings are widespread across the Gulf States and South Asia. In many Mideast and North African countries, a man can escape penalty for rape by marrying the victim. Dozens of nations from North Africa to the Philippines, which wasn’t mentioned, also hold that same loophole. In Egypt, a country the list fails to mention, the government is disappearing tens of thousands of men and women. Its police force is using rape to torture its kidnapped victims.
Female genital mutilation is a pervasive problem in Africa and the Middle East. The World Health Organization estimates that female genital mutilation on massive scale takes place across 30 countries. More than 200 million women have been affected, and more than 3 million are at risk annually.
The spectacular violence committed against women in large chunks of the world cannot be found in the United States. To even compare the plight of the American woman to that of a woman living in Syria, warring countries in Africa, Yemen, the Philippines, Brazil, Honduras, South Africa, Jamaica, etc., is absurd. To even invite the comparison is to trivialize the brutality women in much of the world experience every day. The Myanmar government, which isn’t on the list, is currently waging a genocide against the Rohingya where Rohingya women are brutally raped and murdered. Many have been sold into sexual slavery.
A Western democracy with a low crime rate cannot be compared to a war zone and the countless atrocities that entails. It cannot be compared to dozens of countries where governments don’t even acknowledge spousal rape, allow legal loopholes for honor killings, and allow female genital mutilation. It cannot be compared to sex trafficking hubs in the Third World, places stricken by horrible violence, or dozens of nations with higher crime rates and comparatively high numbers of reported rapes.
When Western democracies are factored in, Belgium, Australia, and Sweden have more reported rapes and sexual assaults per capita than the United States. Rape is still a serious problem in the United States, and any violence against women is unacceptable, but to claim that America’s violence against women is greater than eleven war zones and the lawlessness found in much of the rest of the world is ridiculous. These women live in repressive societies that routinely treat them as lesser. They are born into violent, brutal worlds often stricken by destitute poverty and brutal violence.
This poll is untethered from reality. That we, as Americans, in our ivory towers, can possibly claim our problems and our sexual violence are comparable to what’s happening in Syria, is evidence of a sickening and dangerous attitude of entitlement.