So which countries treat women like cattle?


There has been some debate about which countries Winston Peters was referring to, when he talked about countries that treat women like cattle.

Immigrants from countries who “treat their women like cattle”, should be interviewed to check their attitude before entry into New Zealand…

“But here’s what we want. We want them to salute our flag, respect our laws, honour our institutions and, above all, don’t bring absolutely anti-women attitudes with them, treating women like cattle, like fourth-class citizens.”

…”There are countries I had in mind, they’re not specifically of any one religion. But they’re parts of the world, where women are treated like cattle

“Those countries are well known to us, and they don’t have any specialty apart from the fact that that’s how they treat women.”

If they were going to come here, “then they’d better have a different attitude”.

Peters said he had the “greatest respect” for and he had travelled to a number of Muslim countries. There were many reasons why New Zealand wouldn’t want to take certain immigrants in.

– Stuff

Most of us reading the article assumed that Winston was talking about Muslim countries as Sharia (Islamic) law discriminates against women and makes it clear that a woman has half the value of a man. It is best though not to assume these things so I did a google search using the search words, ‘ countries where women don’t have equal rights’ in order to find out which countries are the worst at denying women equal rights. My search revealed an article with a list of ten countries. Out of that list of the ten worst countries to live in as a woman, seven of them were Muslim majority countries.

The image of the 21st century woman is confident, prosperous, glowing with health and beauty. But for many of the 3.3 billion female occupants of our planet, the perks of the cyber age never arrived. As International Women’s Day is celebrated every year, they continue to feel the age-old lash of violence, repression, isolation, enforced ignorance and discrimination….

Here is a list of the ten worst countries to live as a women.

The main religion in Iraq is Islam, followed by about 97% of Iraqis

10. Iraq

worst countries for women

worst countries for women

…an inferno of sectarian violence that targets women and girls. The literacy rate, once the highest in the Arab world, is now among the lowest.

The state religion in Pakistan is Islam, which is practiced by about 95-98% of the population.

9. Pakistan

worst countries for women

In some tribal areas, women are gang raped as punishment for men’s crimes. But honor killing is more widespread, and a renewed wave of religious extremism is targeting female politicians, human rights workers and lawyers. Women are victims of violence and abuse, and the country still lacks a law against domestic violence. Last year the country saw around 1000 honor killings of women and girls, a practice that has been exported to the West. 90 percent of women experience domestic violence in their lifetimes; women earn 82 percent less than men.

The main religion of India is Hinduism which is followed by 80.5% of the population.The second most popular religion is Islam at 13.4%

8. India

10 Worst Countries for Women

10 Worst Countries for Women

…Domestic violence in India is endemic and widespread predominantly against women. Around 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence, according to Renuka Chowdhury junior minister for women and child development. National Crime Records Bureau reveal that a crime against a women is committed every three minutes, a women is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes and one case of cruelty committed by either the husband or relative of the victim occurs every nine minutes. 50 million girls were killed in the past century in the practice of female infanticide or foeticide; around 100 million women and girls are estimated to be victim of human trafficking; 44.5 percent of girls are married before the age of 18.

Most residents of Somalia are Muslims, the majority belonging to the Sunni branch of Islam and the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence, although some are adherents of the Shia Muslim denomination.

7. Somalia

Somali Women

Somali Women

In the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, a vicious civil war has put women, who were the traditional ministry of the family, under attack. 95 percent of girls face genital mutilation mostly between the ages of 4 and 11; only 7.5 percent of parliament seats are held by women; only 9 percent of women give birth in a health facility.

An estimated 90 percent of Malians are Muslim, mostly Sunni belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence influenced with Sufism.Ahmadiyya and Shia minorities are also present.

6. Mali

Women in Mali

In Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, few women escape torture of genital mutilation. Many of them are forced into early marriages, and one in ten dies in pregnancy or childbirth. There are no laws against female genital mutilation in Mali, and a large number of women have been subjected to it.

The majority religion is Catholicism at 47% with Protestants at 40%

5. Guatemala

Guatemalan women

Guatemalan women

The impoverished female under-class of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS after Sub-Saharan Africa.

97% of the country’s population follow Islam. The vast majority of Muslims in Sudan are Sunni belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence.

4. Sudan

Sudanese Women

Sudanese Women

While Sudanese women have made strides under reformed laws, the plight of those in Darfur, in western Sudan, has worsened. Abduction, rape or forced displacement has destroyed more than one million women’s lives since year 2003.

Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by about 80% of the population. Denominations include Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20% and Kimbanguist 10%.

3. Congo

Women in Congo

Women in Congo

In the eastern DRC, a war that claimed more than 3 million lives has ignited again, with women on the front-line  Many others were victims of direct attacks and violence perpetrated by the warring parties or by rogue armed militias. Women in the Congo face especially harsh realities; around 1,100 are raped every day. Since 1996, more than 200,000 rapes have been reported in the country. 57 percent of pregnant women are anaemic; women can not sign legal documents without their husbands’ authorization.

The official religion in Afghanistan is Islam, which is practiced by over 99% of its citizens. As high as 90% of the population follow Sunni Islam. The remaining are Shias.

2. Afghanistan

Afghan Women

Afghan Women

The average Afghan girl will live to only 45 – one year less than an Afghan male. After three decades of war and repression, an overwhelming number of women remain illiterate in Afghanistan. Afghan girls are also discouraged, sometimes fatally, from seeking an education and Afghan rape victims can be forced, by law, to marry their attacker. More than half of all brides are under 16, and one women dies in childbirth every half an hour. A large majority, up to 85 percent, of women in Afghanistan give birth with no medical attention. It is the country with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world.

55.7% of the population of Chad is Muslim.The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni of Maliki school of Jurisprudence. A minority of Muslims are Shia or Ahmadiyya.

1. Chad

Chad Women

Chad Women

Women in Chad have very few rights. Arranged marriages are still common and often times the girls are around 11 and 12 years old. Sudanese Women living in refugee camps in eastern Chad are facing rape and other forms of violence. Outside the camps, they face a range of abuses from harassment and threats to physical attacks, committed by members of opposition armed groups, bandits and members of the Chadian security forces.


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  • RightofSingapore

    I always knew the answer to this was a [I]slam dunk

  • intelligentes candida diva

    1. I love your posts I devour them, another excellent read because of your sage approach
    2. Winston oh Winston well said, directing where it is required
    3. Great to read the list and uncover the truth about mis treatments.
    4. It is imperative to identify such countries not to condemn but to ensure host countries legislation and immigration processes are correct to capture and vet practices of those who enter thinking they may treat or expected to be treated by the host nation the same way as what occurs in their home country

  • Eddie

    But what about the evil Joos?

  • waldopepper

    yes, if you take islam out of the statistics the world is actually a pretty good and safe place.

    • rua kenana

      Did you check the crime statistics and the jail population in the United States?
      Or the murder rates in Central America?
      Top 10 for homicide rates shown below.

      • Aucky

        Not too many Muslim countries on that list.

        • kereru

          Quite a few on this list, though. Usually don’t feature in the MSM either – far too common, an everyday event in fact.

          • Aucky

            I don’t disagree but rua kenana was quoting the murder stats in the USA where 3.3 million Muslims reside.

      • Rightsideofthebed

        That’s because it’s not called murder if you’re wiping out and raping your tribal neighbours, other muslim entity, anyone who doesn’t agree with you.
        It’s called things like genocide, ethnic/religious cleansing and the like. I’m sure the women of the Congo, Darfur etc would love to only have to worry about the murder rate, as opposed to another tribal group or whatever coming and wiping out their village.

  • shykiwibloke

    If Winston was proven to be true to his word, this alone would bring in a heap of votes. But you just can’t trust him to stick centre-right.

  • kereru

    Very sobering, Spanish Bride. Regrettably there are many other countries where women are little more than labourers and baby factories. The women do all the hard work in most parts of Africa, often with a baby tied on their backs. It mustn’t be forgotten that baby girls were (still are?) left to die because the preference was for boys.

  • The Fat Man

    Where is Saudi Arabia on your list.

    • spanishbride

      I was surprised too that it wasn’t there but obviously the writer thought that other countries were worse as not only do the women not have equal rights they have no education and poverty too. Women in Saudi cannot drive and have many limitations but they can get an education and most are not living in extreme poverty without access to medical help.

    • PersonOfColor:WHITE

      Women are not registering in the consciousness, AT ALL….

  • JEL51

    Great post SB. It is not only religion, Winston mentioned other crucial elements such as flag, laws & institutions. They are all amiss in each of those countries due to religion.

    • kereru

      ‘They are all amiss in each of those countries due to religion.’

      In the Congo, a non-Islamic nation, ‘religion’ has little or nothing to do with poverty, violence and deprivation. Conflicts in Africa are almost always sparked by ongoing tribal grievances. As always in Third World countries, Christian agencies do their best to help provide medical clinics, hospitals, schools, feeding stations and relief supplies.

      ‘Women and girls suffer disproportionately from high rates of violence and extreme poverty during times of conflict. No where is this more true than in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has grappled with wars, civil strife, and multiple rebellions since 1996. While peace has been re-established in most of the country, women and girls, particularly in Congo’s eastern provinces, still suffer from gender-based violence. The use of rape and sexual assault to terrorize them, their families, and their communities continues. Exacerbated by the culture of impunity, violence against women and girls is pervasive and extends beyond armed groups to all of society.’

      Guatemala is the most impoverished nation in the region. Again, aid agencies are overwhelmingly Christian, the ones trying to allieviate some of the results of poverty. We support a child in the mountainous regions of Guatemala and know how much work Christian agencies are doing to feed, clothe, provide for, educate and empower the people at the bottom of the heap.

      ‘In addition to extreme poverty, Guatemala struggles with the after-effects of a 36-year civil war, ended in 1996, as well as persistent political corruption, unemployment, and alcoholism, all of which have had destructive effects on families and communities. Plus, the country’s diverse ethnic heritage – including 23 recognized indigenous languages – make broad-based solutions more difficult, instead requiring localized, culturally-sensitive solutions.’

      How many Islamic aid agencies are working in the field? Even when the world sent aid to Aceh after the tsunami, the pitiful amount of aid from the oil rich Saudis was specifically earmarked for the repair of mosques and the provision of burkahs to cover up the women. No food aid, no medical supplies, no tents, blankets…just mosques and ‘modesty’.

      Events on the ground are a little more complicated than you seem to assume. Please don’t tar all ‘religions’ with the same brush.

      • JEL51

        Ta Keruru, that was not my intention with that comment. I was actually surprised to find that Christianity was still present in the Congo as I assumed it had fallen to the religion of peace as so many in that region have over the decades. Corruption is the force that undermines any stability and there are certain religions where that thrives.
        I find it amazing the churches are, after many, many decades, still sponsoring aid into some of those regions.
        One can only hope advancements have been made in all that time.

        • kereru

          Thanks for your reply, JEL51. It is the nature of Christian teaching to work in the ‘hard’ places when everyone else has either forgotten them or abandoned them. Yes, corruption is endemic, but you soldier on even so. The only change in today’s world is that the Christians are mostly nationals rather than expats – which is as it should be, of course. Most of them are what is known as ‘barefoot’ pastors, who own only the clothes they wear, a Bible and a bicycle – if they’re fortunate enough to have been sponsored one. So, yes, advancements have been made and are continuing to do so!