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Dangerous countries in Asia Pacific for women.

The Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries in the Asia Pacific for women, according to a study by Singapore-based research company ValueChampion.

In its report, Value-Champion said the country ranked 12th out of 14 countries in terms of safety, healthcare, and opportunities for women.

"In the Philippines, despite women going to school for longer than men and having better literacy rates, there are still high levels of violent crime," said research analyst Anastassia Evlanova.

While governmental structures exist to help women achieve quality of life, Evlanova noted that violence against women is still a problem on the individual level here.

The study author hoped that President Rodrigo Duterte's recent prowomen policies will help improve the ranking of the Philippines.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo cited recently signed laws that promote women's rights, such as Republic Act (RA) 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Act; RA 11165 or the Telecommuting Act; and RA 11148 or the First 1,000 Days Act.

Duterte also signed Executive Order 12 to attain and sustain "zero unmet need for modern family planning" through the strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, as well as approved the full and intensified Implementation Plan for the National Program on Family Planning, added Panelo.

"(The President) believes in the capability, integrity, and competence of women as he has appointed several of them in high-level positions where they get the opportunity to contribute in significant decision-making for the country," according to him.

"Indeed, we continue to honor all Filipino women and give due recognition to their achievements in the home, in the workplace, in the community, and in nation building," he said.

In addition to the Philippines, Indonesia and India were found to be the most dangerous destinations for women, according to the survey.

All of these countries were found to have subpar access to healthcare, lax laws regarding women's safety, poor access to family planning resources and overall inequality. 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 the list.

Despite Indian authorities trying to provide legal recourse for rape victims, funding was inadequate, cases weren't resolved properly and despite honor killing participants facing the death penalty, honor killings were still reported. Furthermore, the United Nations also said that India is the most dangerous place for female children, showing that women of all ages can be subject to inadequate quality of life.

In Indonesia, despite laws prohibiting rape, domestic abuse and other forms of violence, a 2016 government survey found that around 33% of women between 15 and 64 experienced some form of violence. In the Philippines, despite women going to school for longer than men and having better literacy rates, there are still high levels of violent crime. This shows us that while Filipino governmental structures exist to help women achieve quality of life, violence against women is still a problem on the individual level.

Furthermore, these countries are also still developing, meaning that access to healthcare isn't always the highest or high-quality healthcare and education may be inaccessible in some parts of the country. The maternal mortality rate of these three countries is above 100 deaths per 100,000 women (compared less than 10 deaths in top ranked countries), healthcare spending makes up less than 5% of the total GDP and in many instances, reproductive rights are limited. This leads to women in these three countries not only facing increased risk of crime at the hands of their spouses or discrimination in the academic or employment fields, but also an increased risk of dying from health-related reasons.

Study Highlights:

Singapore & New Zealand topped the list for the safest city for women, with impressive healthcare, safety and opportunity indicators.

Indonesia, Philippines & India ranked bottom despite government efforts to improve quality of life for women, indicating that government regulation does not always improve quality of life if they are in contrast to religious or cultural values.

As in the case with Japan, the study found that just because a country ranks high for overall safety, it does not mean women in everyday life face the same level of safety as men.

Caption: Protesters shout slogans in Manila during a rally to mark International Women's Day.

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Title Annotation:Top Story
Publication:The Filipino Post
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 11, 2019
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