This is the hardest place for women to grow up

Growing up as a woman can be difficult in any country, but in some countries growing up as a girl is more difficult than others. A new report from ONE examines the best and worst countries for growing up as a woman, released on 7 March in time for International Women's Day on 8 March. 2016 is the second year since ONE released its “Poverty is Sexism” report. The link between income gaps and gender. In their original research, they found that gender inequality and poverty often go hand in hand, although not enough policy has been developed around this intersection. So they hope another report on the subject this year will help spark change in the Legislature.

To determine the best and worst countries for raising girls, ONE ranked 166 countries based on seven indicators, including the number of years girls go to school, the likelihood of a woman dying during childbirth, and the proportion of women with a bank account. . Obviously, no measure is perfect, but they consider these factors to be a "reasonable guide" to the likely quality of life for women and girls in any given country.

Based on the report’s findings, let’s take a look at the top three countries and three countries that are best for women to grow up. To see the full results, be sure to head over to ONE to read the full Poverty is Sexist 2016 report.

Worst countries to grow up as a woman:

1. Niger

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According to the Poverty is Sexist 2016 report, Niger is officially listed as the worst country to grow up in as a woman. One look at the headlines related to Nigerien women shows why they score 0.064 out of 1 on the index: 70% of women in the country say it is "normal" for men to beat, humiliate and assault men. Rape them. Lisette Quesnel, Oxfam's gender-based violence adviser, commented, saying these behaviors are normal for Nigerien women. "Women here are indoctrinated by their families, religious officials and society into thinking this is normal," she told IRIN News. It is hoped that this report will inspire calls for change among Nigerien women.

2. Somalia

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The report found that Somalia was the second-worst country for women to grow up in, with a score of 0.106. The United Nations says Somali women "bear the brunt of inequalities" including poverty, patriarchy and clan culture that are the result of deep-rooted gender inequality. As a result, women face deeply unfair conditions, suffering from female genital mutilation, lack of political representation and underemployment.

3. Mali

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Mali is the third worst country for girls' development, with an index score of 0.111. Although women have made some progress since a 2015 peace deal ended the armed conflict Mali is experiencing, political chaos in the country remains. After Malian women advocated strongly during peace negotiations, they received a commitment from the president that a draft law calling for 30% women in parliament would be implemented. So, although progress is slow, it appears that progress is being made.

The best countries for women to grow up in:


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According to a report by ONE, Norway is the best country in the world for girls to grow up. They finished first with a stellar record of .956, which is pretty impressive. The United Nations also reports that Norwegian women enjoy the highest living standards among women in the world. So, maybe if you want your daughter to have the best chance at equality, or at least as close to it as possible, pack your bags and head to Norway!

2. Sweden

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Sweden came in second, making it the second best country in the world for women to grow up. Gender equality is actually a principle that the Swedish government calls a “cornerstone” of society. Sweden also has many legislative policies on this principle, only some of which deal with parental leave, education, political representation, equal pay and gender-based violence.

3. Denmark

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With a score of 0.933 out of 1, Denmark ranks third in the report, putting the Scandinavian country among the top spots among all. Denmark is known for the breadth and importance of its feminist movement, which is perhaps why gender equality is so highly regarded in Denmark.

Image source: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images (2) , CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images, -/AFP/Getty Images, CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images; Sergii Figurnyi/Fotolia