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Somalia, DR Congo, Nigeria: danger zones for women in Africa

Benita van Eyssen
June 26, 2018

A trio of African countries is among the 10 most dangerous for women worldwide, a new expert survey that puts India at the top shows.

An image showing women who were raped in DR Congo. The women's faces do not appear in the picture. Only their hands folded in their laps, over colorful skirts are shown.
Victims of rape in the DR Congo. The women's faces are not included in the image to protect their identities. Image: Imago/ZUMA Press

The poll was conducted by the Thompson Reuters Foundation. The charity organization said it wanted to see whether efforts to improve the overall risks women worldwide face had improved since a similar survey in 2011.

The charity organization polled 548 experts on women's issues, including aid workers, policy makers, journalists and academics between March 26 and May 4.

DW looks at the three countries in Africa that feature among the 10:


     The most dangerous in Africa

–     Ranked fourth worldwide

–    Risks: conflict-related violence, poor access to healthcare and economic resources, sexual violence, harmful cultural and traditional practices

–     2011 survey: ranked fifth  

Read more:  Safe haven turned into nightmare for Somali woman 


Displaced women and children carrying their possessions on their heads walk past wo soldiers
Women and children in the DR Congo are being exposed to the "worst sexual abuse ever," non-governmental organizations say. Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. D. Kannah

Democratic Republic of Congo

–     Second most dangerous in Africa

–     Ranked seventh worldwide

–    Risks:sexual violence, non-sexual violence, poor access to healthcare and economic resources, cultural and traditional threats

–     2011 survey: ranked second worldwide

Nigerian prostitutes loitering on a street in Italy
Tens of thousands of Nigerian women have been trafficked into Europe for sexual exploitation, according to the latest Thompson Reuters Foundation poll.Image: picture alliance/AP/A. Tarantino


–    Third most dangerous in Africa

–     Ranked ninth worldwide

–     Risks: sexual violence, conflict, cultural and traditional practices, human trafficking and sexual exploitation abroad

     2011 survey: no ranking

Task for takes on trafficking

Benita van Eyssen is a digital content planner, producer and editor@benita_v_eyssen