The best and worst countries to be a woman

A look at the Women, Peace, and Security Index shows how these countries might surprise you—and why it’s strategic to care.

No country has it all when it comes to gender equality, but some places are better than others to be a woman. The Women, Peace and Security Index seeks to understand these global differences by measuring women’s inclusion in society, sense of security, and exposure to discrimination—key indicators of how women are faring. The latest data show that some of the worst countries for women have achieved gains, even as some of the best are lagging in crucial areas.

(National Geographic partnered with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security to illustrate the 2019 index.)

When she fled her home in Pakistan last summer, half asleep in her pajamas, Gulalai Ismail wasn’t thinking about the power of data.

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