Dhaka seventh worst megacity for women | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 18, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:07 AM, October 18, 2017

Dhaka seventh worst megacity for women

Dhaka has been ranked the seventh worst megacity for women in an international perception poll, conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, a news and information provider.

In the poll, Cairo positioned first in the list, followed by Karachi, Kinshasa and New Delhi.

The poll panel comprised of women rights experts answering questions to assess safety and security of women in 19 megacities under four criteria -- sexual violence, access to healthcare, cultural practices and economic opportunities.

The poll's result published yesterday also ranked the capital of Bangladesh as the third most dangerous city for women due to harmful cultural practices against them, like child and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Besides, Dhaka also came fourth worst in terms of sexual violence, including rape or sexual attacks and harassment, against women. The city was placed in 12th position in the two other criteria -- access to healthcare and economic opportunities, the result said.

Lima and the Mexico City were placed in fifth and sixth place overall in the list respectively.

However, London, Tokyo and Paris were ranked as the best or least dangerous megacities for women respectively due to the cities' better scores on the four criteria, according to the result.

In a statement, the poll authority said, “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.”

“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,” said Monique Villa, the CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The results are a snapshot of the significant challenges women around the world face on a daily basis,” she said in the statement.

London became the best [19th in the list] megacity for women because of Britain's free National Health Service, as well as ranking first for economic opportunities, it said.

Experts surveyed in Cairo, which became the worst overall [first in the list], said conditions for women in the city have deteriorated since the Arab Spring, according to the statement.

The capital of Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, became the worst due to its first place in the criteria of harmful cultural practices for women, and the third place in terms of sexual harassment and violence, the statement said.

It also said that Moscow was ranked the 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.

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