Special Report

The 10 Worst Countries for Women

10. Morocco
> Female-to-male income ratio: 0.28 (tied 8th worst)
> Labor force participation (m/f): 79% / 27%
> Literacy rate (m/f): 76% / 58%
> Pct. women in parliament: 17%

Morocco was one of the worst rated countries for women, according to the WEF’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Index. Few nations had a greater disparity between men’s and women’s participation in the economy. Just 27% of Moroccan women were in the labor force, well below the 79% participation rate for men. Further, women with jobs earned an average of just $3,123 annually, versus nearly $11,000 for men — more than three times as much. Morocco also has a considerable gap in literacy rates. Just 58% of women were considered literate versus 76% of men.


9. Jordan
> Female-to-male income ratio: 0.18 (tied- 3rd worst)
> Labor force participation (m/f): 69% / 16%
> Literacy rate (m/f): 98% / 97%
> Pct. women in parliament: 12%

Just 16% of Jordanian women participated in the labor force, one of the worst rates in the world. The difference in incomes between men and women was also among the world’s worst. While the average man in Jordan earned $19,300 annually, higher than in more than half of all countries reviewed by the WEF, the average woman earned only roughly 18% of that, or $3,442 on average. Additionally, despite the prominent international role played by Queen Rania of Jordan, women in general have limited representation in the country’s political offices. Just 12% of parliament seats and 11% of ministerial positions were held by women, both among the lower rates in the world.

ALSO READ: The 10 Most Livable Countries

8. Lebanon
> Female-to-male income ratio: 0.27 (7th worst)
> Labor force participation (m/f): 76% / 26%
> Literacy rate (m/f): 93% / 86%
> Pct. women in parliament: 3%

Few nations were rated worse than Lebanon for women’s political empowerment. Just 3% of seats in Lebanon’s parliament were held by women, one of the absolute lowest rates. Further, none of the country’s ministerial positions were occupied by women. One problem for many women in the country may be that religious laws cover issues of personal status, such as marriage and divorce. Despite passing a new anti-domestic violence law in April 2014, Human Rights Watch said the country still has significant room for improvement. In particular, the organization said that “Exempting matters governed by personal status laws from the domestic violence law undermines women’s security in the home.”

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