The Most Shocking Restrictions on Women's Rights Around the Globe

Nations around the world implement repressive anti-women policies.

A sign at a hotel in Saudi Arabia.
Photo Credit: Jpatokal/Wikimedia Commons

A group of Saudi women challenged their country’s repressive anti-women policies over the weekend when they hopped into cars and drove by themselves. The action highlighted Saudi Arabia’s policies that restrict the rights of Saudi women. But the Gulf country isn’t the only nation that cracks down on women’s rights.

A Washington Post article by Caitlin Dewey highlights anti-women policies around the world. Based on the World Economic Forum’s 2013 report on the global gender gap, Dewey points out a number of countries with policies that restrict women’s rights. Saudi Arabia is not even the worst violator, according to the World Economic Forum. The country comes out ahead of Mali, Iran, Morocco and more.

In Yemen, a women is only considered “half” a witness when giving legal testimony, and are not allowed outside the home without their husbands’ permission.

In Saudi Arabia and Morocco, victims can be charged for being raped.

These types of policies are not limited to North Africa and the Middle East, though. In Ecuador, abortion is illegal unless you’re an “idiot” or “demented.” The law has also been used to criminalize miscarriages. In some parts of India, women do not have to follow traffic safety rules, which ends up contributing to the deaths and injury of thousands of Indian women each year.

And Vatican City, the seat of the pope, does not allow women to vote. The Vatican is on par with Saudi Arabia in this category.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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