Utne Blogs > Politics

Where Not to Be a Woman

 by Lisa Gulya


Tags: politics, international, U.S., social justice, gender equality, family planning, women’s health, UNFPA, foreign aid, Foreign Policy,

Mother and child in central AfricaWhere are the worst countries to be a woman? Haiti, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Moldova. That's according to Foreign Policy, which put together this regionally organized roster of shame by culling information from the United Nations Human Development Report. Highlighted indicators of women’s standing include national political representation, female-to-male income ratio, and the female literacy rate. The magazine offers short profiles of the inequality facing women in each of these countries, and in each women’s sexual and reproductive health comes to the forefront, whether the issue is rape, HIV infection, maternal health, or human trafficking. 

Reading these depressing descriptions as the dates of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions loom presents an opportunity to act. The reproductive health site RH Reality Check is examining how to prioritize women’s health in party platforms. This afternoon at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST, discuss global women’s health in U.S. policy at RH Reality Check with Anika Rahman, President of Americans for UNFPA. (If you miss the conversation, you can still read the exchange in the comments section of the article.) 

Image by Humanitarian and Development Partnership Team in the Central African Republic, licensed under Creative Commons.