India ranked worst G-20 country to be a woman, Canada ranked the best, according to a global poll of experts..
A look at women’s status in G-20 countries, based on factors such as domestic violence laws, access to education, workplace opportunities and rights, according to a report by TrustLaw, a provider of legal assistance and information. The G-20 is composed of 19 countries and the European Union.
One-third of federally appointed judges and 62 percent of university graduates in Canada are female, according to recent Canadian government statistics. In addition, the country has policies promoting women’s rights and well-enforced laws against violence.
Germany has a female head of state, but only 12.5 percent of board members of publicly listed companies there are women, according to the German nonprofit AWO International. However, the life expectancy is a solid 83 years, according to United Nations data.
3. United Kingdom
Women in the U.K. have access to free health care and have opportunities in business and politics. They make up 22 percent of judges in Britain.
About a third of parliamentary seats are held by women in Australia, according to the Australian Parliamentary Library (for the U.S. Congress, it’s about 17 percent). Still, rates of sexual assault remain high and a gender-related pay gap persists, according to the U.N. In this photo, Lady Gaga fans pose outside the pop star’s concert in Brisbane.
French women get 16 weeks of maternity leave with full pay. However, they’re still under-represented in the full-time labor force: Women make up 30 percent of the part-time workforce there, compared with 5 percent of men. In this photo, a woman samples a mini-spray at a contemporary art and design center in Paris.
6. United States
In the U.S., women earned 60 percent of all masters degrees in 2008-2009, according to the U.S. Department of Education, but 22.9 million women do not have health insurance, according to the 2012 Census. Here, a waitress at the Homegirl Cafe in Los Angeles smiles during training.
Japanese women have a life expectancy of 87 years, according to the U.N., but they are under-represented at the political level. Only 11 percent of seats in the parliament’s lower house are held by women, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In this photo, a woman waits for visitors in front of a smartphone accessories booth at Wireless Japan 2012 in Tokyo.
Though women in Italy are making strides, a long history of machismo means that 1.2 million women have been sexually harassed at work, according to the National Institute for Statistics. Italian women spend three times as many hours on housework as men do.
More than a third of Argentine parliamentary seats are held by women, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, but in the country’s poorer areas, many women still face violence and poor access to health services. In this photo, a woman bangs pot lids during a civilian protest at the Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires.
10. South Korea
South Korea has a large, 38.9 percent pay gap for full-time workers, according to OECD figures, and six out of 10 respondents to a 2010 Pew Global Attitudes survey said men have more of a right to work when jobs are scarce. In this photo, a woman takes part in a women’s rights protest in central Seoul.
Though Brazilian women get 120 days of maternity leave at full pay, women continue to be affected by extreme poverty in some areas. Nearly 250,000 children are estimated to be involved in prostitution, according to the U.S. Department of State. In this photo, a young couple speak while resting on bicycles at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.
The OECD reports that only 26 percent of women of working age were employed in Turkey in 2011, and 26 percent of brides in 2010 were aged 16-19, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. In this photo, thousands of women stage a protest in Istanbul against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has said he considers abortion “murder.”
Russia has an extensive domestic violence problem, and 14,000 women die annually from abuse there, according to 2010 statistics from the U.N. In this photo, a girl looks through a bus window in the morning hours in Russia’s southern city of Stavropol.
Because of the “son preference” in China, about one million girls were dead or “missing” at birth in 2008, according to the World Bank. In this photo, a woman practices Tai Chi at the financial district of Shanghai.
Rates of violence against Mexican women are extremely high, with 25 percent suffering sexual abuse by a partner, according to Amnesty International. Here, a woman pretends to be gagged while taking part in a protest during International Women’s Day in Mexico City.
16. South Africa
South Africa has made uneven gains in women’s rights: Women are well-represented in the lower house of South Africa’s parliament, but there were more than 66,000 sexual offenses reported to the South African police between 2010 and 2011. In this photo, a woman blows a vuvuzela in support of the South African soccer team in Johannesburg during the 2010 World Cup.
Gender experts say sexual violence against women is rampant, and nearly 90 percent of women have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, according to the OECD.
18. Saudi Arabia
Women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia and were only given the right to vote in 2011. In this photo, pilgrims make their way to perform prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Many Indian women continue to face grossly unequal treatment, according to gender experts. There were 56,000 maternal deaths in 2010, according to the U.N. Population Fund, and 45 percent of girls are married before the age of 18, according to a recent report by the International Center for Research on Women. (online)