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Law And Order In The World’s Safest And Most Dangerous Nations For Women

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What do you think are the differences in the law and order of the safest and most dangerous nations for women? Here is a comparative analysis.

Most Secure Countries For Women

Sweden

Sweden is regarded as the safest country in the world for women, according to a report in 2020. Sweden has strongly advocated gender equality for a long time. It also ensures that the knowledge and experience of all genders promote progress in society. The encompassing Swedish principle is that everyone, regardless of their gender, has the right to work and support themselves, to balance career and family life, and to live without the fear of abuse or violence.

The Swedish government declared itself as a feminist government dedicated to a Feminist Foreign Policy. The idea has been met with both praise and criticism as the word ‘feminism’ itself and what it advocates was hotly debated before the policy came into place. Karin Kock became the first woman in any Swedish government in 1947 and since then, much progress has been made. Also, 11 of the 22 government ministers are women.

Sweden also has a law against gender discrimination. Gender discrimination at the workplace was illegalised in 1980. The Swedish Discrimination Act of 2009 is designed to take measures against harassment or inequality, for instance, in promotion policies.

Gender discrimination at the workplace was illegalised in Sweden in 1980.

In 2017, the law was extended to include harassment or discrimination based on any ground: the employer’s sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age.

The Swedish government has authorised the Swedish Gender Equality Agency to support government agencies with the work of uniting gender perspectives in all of their operations. Although the business sector is dominated by males, in accordance with the Statistics Sweden bi-annual report on gender equality of 2020, 10% of the companies listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange have women chairpersons, with 35% of board members as women.

Even economic equality is followed as the Discrimination Act states that employers and employees should work to endeavour for ‘Equal pay for equal work’ as well as promote equal opportunity for all to receive a pay rise. In 2018, Sweden adopted a new sexual consent law that states that sex without direct consent is rape, even when there has been no violence or threat.

Moreover, each and every reported rape in the country is registered as a different crime. In 2019, 23,200 sex crimes were reported, of which 8,820 were classified as rape.

Denmark

Denmark is the second-safest country in the world for women. Some of the reasons behind this are that the government promotes gender equality by offering an earnings-related daycare system and a flexible parental leave policy. In 2016, several enterprises against stalking were launched and efforts to conflict rape were reinforced — including through tougher prison sentences for bandits, and better support and protection for survivors.

Also, a course of coping strategies for survivors (women or men) of violence was established. New methods were introduced to combat everyday sexism. A nationwide campaign aimed at raising awareness and breaking the still-existing prohibition of partner violence was launched in early 2017.

To improve the education sector, the Minister of Children, Education and Gender Equality has formed a committee tasked to suggest how they can ensure that both girls and boys are able to develop their abilities on equal terms and participate in Danish society (i.e. people living in Denmark and following their cultures and customs).

In May 2016, Denmark hosted the fourth international Women Deliver Conference – the largest gathering on girls and women’s health, rights and well-being in more than a decade: 5,759 participants from 169 countries including 40 ministers, several UN leaders, civil society representatives and 1,100 youth delegates. The motive was to implement the SDGs (sustainable development goals) as they matter the most for girls and women, with a focus on health, gender equality, education, environment and economic empowerment.

In Denmark, shelters for survivors of domestic violence are run by LOKK, a nationwide, non-governmental organisation consisting of 42 women’s shelters and counselling centres (LOKK, 2017). LOKK offers counselling by telephone, through a free, 24/7 women’s helpline, as well as providing mediation services for ethnic minority youths subject to honour-related conflicts (LOKK, 2017).

The 2015 Gender Action Plan developed by the Danish Minister for Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs launched a series of initiatives to conflict sexual harassment in the workplace, including a hotline (a direct phone line set up for use in emergencies or for communication between heads of government), closer supervision and easier access to file complaints (Denmark, 2015).

In Denmark, shelters for survivors of domestic violence are run by LOKK, a nationwide, non-governmental organisation. 

The Gender Equality Act established a Gender Equality Board responsible for hearing complaints related to sex discrimination in employment, awarding necessary payments and reversing dismissals. But the number of rape convictions increased by 75% from 2017 to 2019, according to the government data.

Other countries that come under the category of most secure countries for women, according to 2020 data, are Norway and Canada.

Most Insecure Countries For Women

Yemen

Yemen is regarded as the most insecure place to be women according to the Women, Peace and Security Index. The country is in a worse condition as it is suffering from a humanitarian crisis and poverty. Many women in Yemen have been subjected to abuse but don’t register a case because of fear of death.

The women do not have access to education either. It was reported that gender-based violence has been increasing in Yemen: it increased by 50% in case of sexual violence, 11% for child marriage, and 17% for contraction of resources. Women in the country are also considered the poorest of the poor as they are denied almost all resources. The birth of women is often considered a curse and not celebrated.

When four Yemen governorates — Al-Sabeen, Dar Saad, Musimir, AL-Shamayteen and Al-Ma’arif — were interrogated, they all justified why women must be punished if they do not obey their husbands. Because women are not educated, they don’t have awareness of their own condition. They are not able to speak up about domestic violence. That’s why it’s very important to raise awareness of gender-based violence and ways to deal with Yemi women. Women Rights Organisations are struggling to end violence against women.

Afghanistan

Like Yemen, Afghanistan is interpreted as one of the most dangerous countries for women. Many organisations working towards gender equality have declared that violence against women has risen in the country. Because of widespread poverty in the country, women are often not given adequate amounts of food, and therefore struggle from various diseases and lack proper nutrition deficiency; mothers feed their sons first and then their daughters. Around 21% of Afghani women have been reported with low body mass. While 48% suffer from iron deficiency, 75% suffer from iodine deficiency.

Furthermore, the child mortality rate in the country is around 45%. In a patriarchal society such as Afghanistan’s, women aren’t given much access to education and healthcare. They don’t have the right to work and are instead expected to work as a household labourer. Now, because of the recent Taliban rule, it’s speculated that the situation with respect to women will get worse, and rapes and child marriages will increase, particularly in rural families, where women aren’t allowed to go shopping.

The Civil Code of 1977 contains several laws promoting discrimination, yet, discrimination is practised. However, it still maintains nafaqa (i.e. men have to support their wives and provide them food and other necessary needs). A research was directed by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit and it was noted that men are not able to live well as society expects them to.

Though India does not come under the category of the most dangerous country, reasons such as low literacy levels among women and cases of harassment against women are rising.

In 2001 in the Afghanistan Constitution, some provisions were added to ensure equality and support education of women. However, the current situation for women isn’t really good as the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan. Even Syria, Pakistan and South Sudan come under the category of most insecure countries for women.

India

Though India does not come under the category of the most dangerous country for women, reasons such as low literacy levels among women and cases of harassment against women are increasing. According to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), India recorded 88 rape cases every day in 2019.

The problem is that in India, we see many women in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who don’t register cases of violence or harassment against women due to societal stigma. Meanwhile, in Kerala, higher crimes have been reported because more people over there are educated and are encouraged to register cases concerning the same. Different articles in the Constitution, such as Article 15, states that no citizen should be discriminated against on the grounds of sex. Similarly, Article 39 directs equal pay to all. Nevertheless, it seems that in rural areas, women are comparatively paid less.

Although the Constitution has designed different laws regarding freedom, equality, dignity etc., the mindset of people towards women never changes. Also, justice regarding rape cases and women assaults often get delayed in court.

Steps To Improve Women’s Security

1. Education should be accessible to all women so that equality can be established and gender discrimination can be mitigated. Also, women and people below 18 years of age should be given the right to pursue a part-time job so that students can become independent and have the opportunity to interact and maintain a social life.

2. CCTV cameras should be installed in public places to prevent crimes.

3. Camps for defending and creating awareness towards gender equality should be organised. This will help women defend themselves in any situation and help them gain self-confidence.

4. Patrolling in public areas should be increased. Also, the government should make stronger laws for providing justice against women assaults.

5. Women must keep a pepper spray and have a GPS tracker installed in case they are being followed by men.

Women are the backbone of every country. Women must give the dignity of nature to every woman as all genders have been given the same hearth.

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        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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