Women feel safer in UAE than any other country: Survey

UAE ranked first in terms of ‘community safety'

Photo: File
Photo: File

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 30 Oct 2021, 7:15 PM

Women feel safer in UAE than any other country, according to the Women, Peace and Security Index survey by Georgetown University.

While UAE ranked 24th out of 170 countries surveyed in the index, the country ranked first in terms of ‘community safety'.

A total of 98.5 per cent of the women surveyed, aged 15 and above, said they feel ‘safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live’.

Singapore came in second at 96.9 per cent. The UAE also climbed to 24 from 43 in 2017.

This is the third edition of the Index and is published by Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Peace Research Institute in Oslo.

The survey provides valuable insights into patterns and progress on women’s status and empowerment around the world.

UAE is also one among 16 countries where the representation of women in parliament increased by at least 10 per cent, according to the survey.

The Emirates’ performance in the women in financial inclusion category has also jumped from 66.3 per cent in 2017 to 76.4 per cent in 2021.

The Index measures the percentage of women ages 15 and older who report having an individual or joint account at a bank or other financial institution or who report using a mobile money service in the past year.

Norway, Finland, and Iceland lead the rankings, while Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen are at the bottom. The range of scores has widened: this time, the top score is three times better than of the worst performer, compared to two times better in 2017, said a press release issued by Georgetown University.

The United States has dropped out of the top 20, to 21st place.

"Slowing rates of progress for women can be traced to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has widened gender gaps in paid employment and care burdens, and heightened risks of intimate partner violence," said Dr Jeni Klugman, managing director of GIWPS and lead author of the WPS Index.

This year's WPS Index takes a deeper dive into two South Asian countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Conditions are worst for women in the south-eastern provinces of Afghanistan, where conflict has been protracted.

"Since 2017, Afghanistan's score has deteriorated 28 per cent on the WPS Index. The return of the Taliban to power is unraveling the progress Afghan women have made and worsening the situation for women around the country," said Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of GIWPS and former US ambassador of Global Women's Issues.

“This year's edition of the index systematically measures the situation of women around the world. The massive challenges created by the pandemic mean that intersectional analysis and policymaking are more important than ever as governments and communities strive to build back better,” said Dr Klugman.

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