Cairo tops poll on world’s most dangerous megacities for women, London ranks best overall
First-of-its-kind survey asks experts to name best and worst megacities for women
(London – October 16, 2017) London, Tokyo and Paris are the best megacities for women, according to the results of a global perception poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Cairo came last, followed by Karachi, Kinshasa and New Delhi.
We surveyed 380 experts in women’s issues in the world’s 19 biggest megacities, each home to over 10 million people, to assess how well women are protected from sexual violence and harmful cultural practices, and whether they have access to good healthcare, education and economic opportunities.
“Each year the Foundation takes the pulse of an important issue affecting women globally. What this poll reveals – even in megacities that performed well – is how much remains to be done before these vast cities can be considered safe for women, let alone places where they can thrive. The results are a snapshot of the significant challenges women around the world face on a daily basis,” said Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
While London tops the poll – buoyed by Britain’s free National Health Service, as well as ranking first for economic opportunities – it did not fare best with regard to women being protected from sexual violence and harmful cultural practices.
In an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The progress we’re making as a city is not happening fast enough. We must redouble our efforts to remove any barriers to women’s success and to unlock their full potential.”
Moscow ranked fourth best overall, outperforming New York on a range of measures, and was named the most female-friendly city judged solely on protection against harmful cultural practices.
Experts surveyed in Cairo, which came last overall, said conditions for women have deteriorated since the Arab Spring. The capital of the Arab world’s most populous country fared worst when it came to harmful cultural practices for women, such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage, and was named the third worst city when respondents were asked if women were at risk of sexual harassment and violence.
New Delhi and São Paulo tied for the world’s worst megacities for women who perceived themselves to be at risk of sexual violence, including rape, attacks, or harassment. Tokyo was ranked as the safest city in terms of sexual violence, though some women’s rights campaigners said the issue remained a hidden problem.
Lima was named the world’s worst megacity for women to get access to healthcare, in large part due to the difficulty women face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services including abortions, which are illegal unless the mother’s life or health is deemed to be at risk. It was closely followed by Kinshasa, with Karachi and Cairo tying third.
Finally, on the question of access to economic resources for women including education, ownership of land, and financial services such as bank accounts, Kinshasa ranked bottom, followed by Cairo and Karachi.
Results of the poll were produced in collaboration with StarMine, a Thomson Reuters company specialising in data modeling and analytics.
For more information, visit poll2017.trust.org