The Worst Places to Be a Woman

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Education: This scale shows the degree of difference between boys' and girls' enrollment in secondary education, as well as whether there are any areas of study that are restricted for girls.

Family law: This multivariate scale demonstrates how inequitable family law and its practice are toward women, measuring variables relating to marriage and divorce, inheritance, and polygyny.

Government participation: This scale examines both the representation of women in the national legislature, as well as the representation of women in ministerial posts at the national level.

Age of marriage: This scale demonstrates the prevalence of underage marriage for girls, defined as marriage at 16 or younger.

Maternal mortality: This scale demonstrates the level of maternal mortality in each country, with the highest scores indicating a range of more than 300 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

Physical security of women: This multivariate scale captures how vulnerable women are to various forms of physical assault, including murder, rape, and domestic violence.


Polygyny: This scale measures the legality and the prevalence of polygyny within society, noting the presence of ethno-religious enclaves where such exist.

Son preference and sex ratio: This map shows the degree to which sons are valued over daughters in each country. At the two highest levels of the scale, we see either slight or pronounced abnormality in childhood sex ratios favoring male children.

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