Thursday, December 4, 2014

Five places women shouldn’t travel to

Womdering where to visit next?
Womdering where to visit next? Source: Getty Images
 
IT’S a sad fact that in the 21st century, women around the globe continue to encounter rampant discrimination, harassment and inequality. Upsetting — though not necessarily surprising. 

Here are five places where women’s rights are being exploited and sexism reaches into the highest echelons of government — reason enough to take your travel dollars elsewhere, the New York Post reports.

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.“You cannot bring women and men into equal positions; that is against nature because their nature is different.” So said Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking last week in Istanbul at — of all places — a women’s conference. In the speech, delivered on Nov. 24 to the Turkish Women and Democracy Association, Erdogan indicated that a woman is incapable of doing every job that a man can do because “it is against her delicate nature” — specifically citing pregnant women and nursing mothers.

“You can’t tell this to feminists, because they do not accept motherhood. They have no such concerns,” said the conservative leader, who’s advocated for women having at least three children. We wonder what Beyoncé would have to say about that.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Source: AFP

 
Indonesia

As if being a policewoman weren’t tough enough, in Indonesia, a report says the government forces female recruits to undergo “virginity tests,” which involves a doctor examining applicants to see if their hymens are intact. The reason? Policewomen in Indonesia are required to be virgins, to ensure that they are morally fit for duty.

New Indonesian police women recruits stand in formation.Human Rights Watch (HRW) released the report on November 18; it’s based on interviews the organisation conducted in six cities across Indonesia, from May to October 2014. The jobs website of the country’s official National Police states, according to HRW: “In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen must also undergo virginity tests. So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”

Other requirements to be on the force: Women must be between 17-and-a-half and 22 years of age, unmarried and at least 165 centimetres tall.

New Indonesian police women recruits stand in formation. Source: AFP
 
El Salvador

Nicaragua or Belize are home to luxury resorts and upscale yoga retreats. Neighbouring El Salvador, while perhaps not tops on one’s list for a girls’ getaway, has certainly benefited from the emerging interest in Central American tourism.

Women’s rights have a way to go in El Salvador. Picture: Dennis TangBut the country also has some of the world’s strictest anti-abortion laws — abortion is illegal for any reason, including rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. A side effect is that women who suffer miscarriages or stillbirths have been accused of trying to end their pregnancies — and have been sentenced to prison for aggravated homicide, a charge that carries up to 30 years.

A 2012 report from the Central American Women’s Network listed 628 El Salvadoran women currently imprisoned for having abortions, and noted that “women ... are regularly reported to the police following a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature labour.”

Women’s rights have a way to go in El Salvador. Picture: Dennis Tang Source: Flickr
 
Saudi Arabia

A Saudi woman drives a vehicle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.So maybe you aren’t jetting off to Riyadh anytime soon. A good thing, since women in the conservative Muslim nation have few, if any rights. Last week, numerous restaurants posted signs banning single women from entering.
Why?
Because they smoke, “flirt” and speak on their mobile phones — behaviour that one restaurant owner called “mentally unstable.

It’s just one of a long list of things women are prohibited from doing by law in Saudi Arabia. Those include: voting, driving, and visiting a doctor without a male chaperon.

A Saudi woman drives a vehicle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Source: AP
 
Utah

Five places women shouldn’t travel to
Women aren’t so equal in Utah. Source: Flickr
 
Really, the US is on this list? Yep, because the US is ranked 20th overall, behind Burundi and Nicaragua, on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. And of the 50 states, Utah is one of the worst when it comes to gender inequality, according to wallethub.com and 247wallst.com.

Basing its tabulation on three major categories — economy, leadership and health — 247wallst.com came to the conclusion that “Utah is the worst state for women.”

Here are just a few reasons: A typical man in Utah earned more than $US50,000 ($59,000) in 2013, while most women made 70 per cent of that figure — one of the largest gender-pay gaps in the nation.

Less than 31 per cent of management positions were held by women in Utah (the second lowest rate in the US). Only six women occupy the 75 seats in the state’s House of Representatives, and Utah has just five female state senators — a huge underrepresentation of women in government.

For its rankings, wallethub.com took 10 key metrics into account and declared Utah 49th in gender-based disparity. Among its findings: Utah had the biggest educational attainment gap and was second to last in workplace equality. So maybe you should think twice before booking that ski weekend in Park City?

news.com.au 3 Dec 2014

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