Plus, there are acid attacks from disappointed suitors, honor killing, lack of medical care and the annoying religious police punishing unacceptable hemlines on burqas.
Meanwhile, a health minister in Somalia was shocked that her country wasnt chosen as the worst, remarking, Im completely surprised because I thought Somalia would be first. (Somalia came in fifth, behind the Congo, Pakistan, India, and numero uno Afghanistan.)
Afghanistan got the coveted top spot, even given the tough competition.
Whats odd is how first world countries like the United States welcome immigration from barbarian cultures and then are surprised when the foreigners remain quite attached to their retro customs even when relocated.
Afghanistan named most dangerous country for women, Daily Telegraph, June 15, 2011
Pakistan, India and Somalia ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the global Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of threats ranging from domestic abuse and economic discrimination to female foeticide, genital mutilation and acid attacks.
Ongoing conflict, Nato airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women, said Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, a group that supports women social entrepreneurs around the world.
In addition, women who do attempt to speak out or take on public roles that challenge ingrained gender stereotypes of whats acceptable for women to do or not, such as working as policewomen or news broadcasters, are often intimidated or killed.
The poll of the top five most dangerous countries for women by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation, marked the launch of its new TrustLaw Women section, a global hub of news and information on womens legal rights.
TrustLaw asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions of danger as well as by six risks. The risks were health threats, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, cultural or religious factors, lack of access to resources and trafficking.
Some experts said the poll showed that subtle dangers such as discrimination that dont grab headlines are sometimes just as significant risks for women as bombs, bullets, stonings and systematic rape in conflict zones.
I think you have to look at all the dangers to women, all the risks women and girls face, said Elisabeth Roesch, who works on gender-based violence for the International Rescue Committee in Washington.
If a woman cant access healthcare because her healthcare isnt prioritised, that can be a very dangerous situation as well.
Afghanistan emerged as the most dangerous country for women overall and worst in three of the six risk categories: health, non-sexual violence and lack of access to economic resources.
Respondents cited sky-high maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a near total lack of economic rights. Afghan women have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth, according to Unicef.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), still reeling from a 1998-2003 war and accompanying humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4 million people, came second mainly due to staggering levels of sexual violence in the lawless east.
More than 400,000 women are raped in the country each year, according to a recent study by US researchers. The United Nations has called Congo the rape capital of the world.
Statistics from DRC are very revealing on this: ongoing war, use of rape as a weapon, recruitment of females as soldiers who are also used as sex slaves, said Pakistan ranked third largely on the basis of cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women. These include acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse.
Some 1,000 women and girls die in honour killings annually, according to Pakistans Human Rights Commission.