It's a fare dinkum fact it's safer for women Down Under
SA, on the other hand ranks rather poorly, despite all its best policy intentions
Australia has the bragging rights to being the safest country in the world when it comes to the welfare of its female citizens.
Long proven as a popular country of choice for migrating South Africans, Australia topped the global list in an annual review of safest countries for women.
The review was conducted by Sandton-based market research company New World Wealth, which examined the crime statistics of countries throughout the world.
Malta, Iceland, New Zealand and Canada – popular destinations for migrating well-off individuals – also featured in the top five.
SA, with its high rate of crimes against women, did not fare well on the global list.
“We cannot be sure of the exact rank as not all countries have reliable crime statistics, but we estimate a global rank of 80-90 for South Africa out of the 195 countries in the world,” said Andrew Amoils, New World Wealth head researcher.
According to Africa Check, in 2017/18 a total of 2,930 women were murdered in SA. This means the femicide rate was 15.2 murders per 100,000 women.
An average of 110 rapes were recorded by the police each day.
Amoils said women’s safety was 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 safety levels”.
“This means that wealth growth is boosted by strong levels of women safety in a country.”
Amoils said of the 195 countries in the world, only 58 had reasonably reliable crime statistics.
“Women can be arrested for even reporting rape in over 40 countries worldwide. Many of these countries are located in the Middle East and North Africa. Notable examples include Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In these countries, women are sometimes arrested for adultery or for sex outside marriage when they report rape to the police.”
The Centre for Violence and Reconciliation’s research into violence against women in SA last year found the country “is characterised by a strong legislative and policy-enabling environment aligned with international conventions that seek to protect and promote the rights of women”.
“Despite the myriad legal protection and interventions by state and non-state actors, women in SA continue to experience extremely high rates of violence.
“This raises human security concerns for women particularly and for the country at large.”
The research found women’s quality of life the world over and particularly in SA “has long been observed as curtailed by the balance of social power, which is tilted in favour of males”.