Every woman can identify at least one point in her life in which she felt victimized or subject to ridicule because of her gender. While the day to day sexism most have experienced is both demeaning and daunting (to say the least), most in America do not have to collectively fear child marriage, high maternal mortality, female trafficking, low physical security, and polygyny. For women in several countries today those fears are still a profound reality.
Using a world map, the data compiled by Foreign Policy, illustrates by country the locations where “the war on women is still being fought.” Comparing the aforementioned issues such as physical security and maternal mortality, the data highlights a surprising lack of consistency among several countries. The United States takes great means to portray all of its policies as egalitarian, and while that may be true with respect to education, its approach to women’s security and governmental participation leave something to be desired. The same is true of “free” European nations such as Spain which is highly equitable in Law but exhibits an abnormally high sex ratio in favor of men.
It is disheartening to be confronted with undeniable, color coded evidence of female inferiority throughout the world. Even the countries cited as “progressive” in equality, such as Norway or Sweden, are lacking in measures that will enable women to rise above second class status. Data of this nature can be the catalyst for criticism of a nation’s government and its policies, however equal attention should be devoted to individual populations within a state.
This data indicates that even if a practice such as polygyny is illegal in a nation, the law can be unenforced or the practice can be maintained within small enclaves. To fully eradicate these practices, governmental efforts must be combined with equality education from a young age. The delay in successfully implementing these changes can be attributed to there being no “one size fits all” for curing sexism. A population willing to make strides toward equality may need to combat an obstinate government or vice versa. Regardless, the message of change is that is needs to be precise and personalized to a population.
For more see: Foreign Policy