Poor old SA: The safer the women, the richer the country
Survey shows wealth growth is boosted by strong levels of women’s safety in a country. SA scores very badly
If you’re a woman living in Australia, Malta, Iceland, New Zealand or Canada, count yourself lucky: you’re in the top five safest countries when it comes to female welfare.
Out of the 195 countries that featured in a New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank review of the safest countries for women, South Africa ranks between 60 and 80 on the list. Iraq, Syria and Sudan are among the least safe.“Women’s safety is one of the best ways to gauge a country’s long-term wealth growth potential, with a correlation of 92% between historic wealth growth and women’s safety levels. This means that wealth growth is boosted by strong levels of women’s safety in a country,” said Andrew Amoils of New World Wealth, a Johannesburg-based market researcher.“South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa that has reasonably reliable crime data. However, when it comes to crimes such as rape most go unreported. For every one reported, about three go unreported,” said Amoils.
Crimes considered in the study included rape, slavery of women, trafficking and general assaults including physical abuse and acid attacks.
The recent murder of Mangosuthu University of Technology student Zolile Khumalo, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend Thabani Mzolo, and the brutal 2017 killing of Johannesburg woman Karabo Mokoena by her partner Sandile Mantsoe, have again cast the spotlight on gender-based violence in South Africa.The SA Demographic and Health Survey – conducted by Stats SA with the SA Medical Research Council last year – showed that the problem of violence against women was prevalent despite local laws.
One in five women in South Africa, according to the survey, reported that they had experienced violence at the hands of their partners. Divorced or separated women were more likely to experience physical abuse.
The Eastern Cape displayed the highest rate – with 32% of women reporting physical abuse. KwaZulu-Natal had the lowest rate, with 14% of women reporting physical abuse.The survey also showed that it is particularly women living in the lowest wealth quintile who experienced the most physical violence, a finding that is in keeping with the New World Wealth study.Amoils said most of the countries in the top five safest countries for women had experienced strong wealth growth over the past 20 years.
“However, big cities such as London and Paris have become less safe for women over the past few years,” he said.
“The least safe countries for women include the likes of Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Syria.
“Most of these markets have performed poorly in terms of wealth growth over the past few years, which is probably linked to their low woman safety levels.”