Canada best G20 country to be a woman, India worst: poll

Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:23am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Katherine Baldwin

LONDON, June 13 (TrustLaw) - Policies that promote gender equality, safeguards against violence and exploitation and access to healthcare make Canada the best place to be a woman among the world's biggest economies, a global poll of experts showed on Wednesday.

Infanticide, child marriage and slavery make India the worst, the same poll concluded.

Germany, Britain, Australia and France rounded out the top five countries out of the Group of 20 in a perceptions poll of 370 gender specialists conducted by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The United States came in sixth but polarized opinion due to concerns about reproductive rights and affordable healthcare.

At the other end of the scale, Saudi Arabia - where women are well educated but are banned from driving and only won the right to vote in 2011 - polled second-worst after India, followed by Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico.

"India is incredibly poor, Saudi Arabia is very rich. But there is a commonality and that is that unless you have some special access to privilege, you have a very different future, depending on whether you have an extra X chromosome, or a Y chromosome," said Nicholas Kristof, journalist and co-author of "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide", commenting on the poll results.

The poll, released ahead of a summit of G20 heads of state to be held in Mexico June 18-19, showed the reality for many women in many countries remains grim despite the introduction of laws and treaties on women's rights, experts said.

"In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labor," said Gulshun Rehman, health program development adviser at Save the UK, who was one of those polled.   Continued...

 
People take part in a free weekly yoga class on the front lawn of Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 17, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie