Malaysia among most dangerous of 14 countries in APAC ranked for women’s safety, study says

The Straits Times

We all want to live in a safe place, where crime, healthcare and getting a job are the least of our worries. But it can be difficult to find the ideal city to safely live and work in – especially for women.

According to a study by ValueChampion, a financial analysis and comparison site, Malaysia ranks as the fifth most dangerous country for women to live in out of 14 Asia Pacific countries with major cities.

In the list of the safest countries for women to live in, Malaysia was ranked 10th out of 14, followed by China, the Philippines, Indonesia and India respectively.

The study said that the worst performers on the list – the Philippines, Indonesia and India – have “subpar access to healthcare, lax laws regarding women’s safety, poor access to family planning resources and overall inequality”.

It added: “Despite government interventions and attempts to enact laws that protect women’s safety, deeply entrenched patriarchal attitudes either due to cultural or religious beliefs led to women fearing for their well-being more often than in other countries on our list.”

ValueChampion ranked Singapore and New Zealand in joint first place, citing their “impressive healthcare, safety and opportunity indicators”. Australia came in third, followed by Japan and Taiwan respectively.

Here’s the full list of all 14 countries in Asia Pacific ranked by ValueChampion for women’s safety:

ValueChampion

The study published on Tuesday (Mar 5) ranked the countries using a weighted average, which weighted safety the most, followed by healthcare and opportunity for women.

ValueChampion told Business Insider that Malaysia has “fairly strict laws against sexual harassment and violence against women in civil court”, but that “it still seems like women tend to under report crimes due to the lengthy court process and difficulty in providing evidence”.

The company also said that Malaysia’s 11th place ranking in healthcare was due to its below-average female life expectancy (77.4 years), compared to the other countries it analysed (81.1 years).

Furthermore, maternal mortality and infant mortality rates “were among some of the higher rates” out of all the countries analysed, according to “latest government data”.

The low ranking for opportunity was partly due to a “rather high wage gap”, where women earned 37 per cent less than men in terms of the gross national income per capita.

Also, out of the countries analysed, Malaysia is in the bottom five for female literacy rate at 93.2 per cent.

When assessing the countries, ValueChampion took into account the number of legal protections against common crimes committed against women – marital rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

It also looked at global indices such as the Human Development Index and the Global Peace Index to identify safety.

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