The Best and Worst Countries for Women

A look at the condition of women's rights and safety around the world.

Close-up of a person with intense eyes, framed by two red boxing gloves near their face. The lighting casts a dramatic shadow, highlighting their determined expression.

The lives of women and girls in much of the world have steadily improved for at least a generation, but much remains to be done to promote their rights. While women in Canada make up 62% of university graduates, at the other end of the spectrum, Saudi Arabian women are not even allowed to drive. 90% of women in Indonesia report suffering sexual harassment in the workplace. In China, a quarter of women think it’s justifiable for a man to beat his wife, and more than half of Indian women think so.

In 2011 we helped the Thomson Reuters Foundation visualize the 5 Most Dangerous Countries for Women, exposing some of the shocking hardships that women face around the world. We used powerful portrait photography, custom iconography and bold typography to bring attention to some of the most distressing and promising statistics related to women’s health, safety, education and representation around the world. After the success of the visualizations, we were asked to illustrate the record of the Group of 20 nations on women’s rights.

A world map highlighting the five most dangerous countries for women, labeled as follows: 1. Afghanistan, 2. Congo, 3. Pakistan, 4. India, 5. Somalia. Icons for health, discrimination, cultural issues, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, and trafficking are shown.
An infographic about Afghanistan featuring a woman in a headscarf. It states that 87% of Afghan women are illiterate, 1 in 11 Afghan women face the chance of dying in childbirth, and 70-80% of Afghan women face forced marriages.
An African woman carries a child on her back. Nearby text reveals Congo's struggles with sexual violence: 1,152 women raped daily, 57% of pregnant women anemic, and zero legal acts permitted without husband's authorization. A map highlights Congo.
An infographic about women's issues in Pakistan. It highlights statistics: 90% of women experience domestic violence, women earn 82% less than men, and over 1000 women and girls are victims of honor killings yearly. A woman in a blue shawl is shown.
A child with a frightened expression is partially hidden by a blanket. Text stating that 100 million women and girls are estimated to be involved in trafficking in India, with 44.5% of girls married before age 18, and 50 million "missing" due to infanticide and feticide.
A young girl in green clothing stares intently. Text over the image offers statistics about women in Somalia: 95% of girls face genital mutilation, 7.5% of parliament seats are held by women, and 9% of women give birth in health facilities.
A world map showing the ranking of G20 countries based on conditions for women. Countries are marked with red circles containing numbers from 1 to 19. The title reads "G20 countries: the worst and best for women." The map is from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
A passionate fan with face paint and heart-shaped stickers bearing the word "Canada" shouts. Statistics are displayed: 1/3 of federally appointed judges are female, 3/4 of women aged 15-49 use contraception, and 62% of university graduates are female.
An infographic about gender equality in Germany featuring a young woman with "This is no permission" written on her chest. Statistics include: gender pay gap (21.6%), female life expectancy (83 years), and convicted sex trafficking offenders who received jail time (24.4%).
An infographic detailing gender inequality in the United Kingdom. It shows a woman holding a candle in the foreground. Statistics include 22.3% of judges are women, an 18.6% gender pay gap, and 17% of ministerial positions held by women.
A woman in a hat stands in a field, looking upwards, with stats on gender equality in Australia: 19.1% of women experienced sexual violence since age 15, 35.9% of parliament seats held by women, and 5 female CEOs among top 200 companies. Quotes and sources included.
Image featuring a young girl in a white shirt and black hat, seemingly in protest, reaching out while being restrained by a police officer. Overlay text highlights statistics about gender inequality in France, including maternity leave and gender pay gap figures.
Image with a numbered section 6 and a title "United States." A woman's face is partially visible. Infographics include a map, 60% statistic for women's master's degrees in 2008-2009, 22.9M uninsured women, and 92 anti-abortion provisions enacted in 2011.
A young woman stands in front of a dark background with text and statistics superimposed. The text includes a quote about gender inequality and various statistics: Japan, 87 years female life expectancy, 11% of seats held by women in parliament, and a 28.3% gender pay gap.
A collage illustrating gender inequality in Italy. Dominating the image is an intense close-up of a woman's face wearing red boxing gloves. Overlaid text includes statistics: 57.7% of tertiary education students are female, 1.2 million women sexually harassed at work, 3x more housework by women, and a map highlighting Italy.
An infographic about Argentina with a background image of a mother holding her baby. It includes statistics: 37.4% of seats in the lower house of Parliament are held by women, 90 days of maternity leave on full pay, and up to 500,000 estimated clandestine abortions per year.
An image showcasing statistics on gender issues in South Korea. It features a blurred background with text highlighting a 38.9% gender pay gap, 4/1000 teenage motherhood rate, and a poll stating 6/10 people favor men for jobs when scarce. A quote on gender bias is included.
A poster on gender inequality in Brazil featuring a young girl covering her mouth with her hand. Statistics are displayed: women occupy 8.6% of parliament seats, 120 days of maternity leave, and 250,000 children involved in prostitution. A quote is included.
A graphic about Turkey highlights gender inequality issues. Key statistics include: 74% of working-age women are unemployed, 26% of brides in 2010 were aged 16-19, and over 3.8 million Turkish women are illiterate. A girl is pictured running in the background.
A somber image of a young woman in a winter hat framed on the left. Text on the right details the issue of human trafficking and domestic violence in Russia. Stats: 57,750 women trafficked annually, 14,000 women die from domestic violence, 13.6% female parliament representation.
An infographic about female infanticide in China. A baby wrapped in a blanket is shown in the background. Statistics include 1.09 million girls missing at birth in 2008, 21.3% of seats in parliament held by women, and 1/4 of women think it's justifiable for a man to beat his wife.
Informational graphic titled "15 Mexico" with statistics on violence against women. It features a woman holding caution tape, text noting high impunity for femicides, and data such as 1 in 4 women suffering sexual abuse by a partner and 26.2% women in lower parliament seats.
A graphic titled "South Africa" highlighting gender statistics. It mentions that 42.3% of lower house parliament seats are held by women, women with HIV are twice as many as men, and 66,196 sexual offences were reported in 2010-2011. A woman wearing a white knit hat appears in the background.
A young girl wearing a headscarf is looking at the camera, placed on the left side of the image. On the right, there are statistics about Indonesia: 90% of women claim to have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, women earn 38% of the income, and 1 woman dies every hour in childbirth.
A graphic highlighting women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Key points include: in 2011, women gained the right to vote; 0 women allowed to drive; 64.6% of women with tertiary education are unemployed. The image also features a woman with her face partially covered.
Infographic about maternal deaths and gender inequality in India. Shows the face of a girl looking out of a window, raindrops on glass. Text includes statistics on maternal deaths, child marriage, views on domestic violence, and a quote from a development adviser.

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