4 world maps showing women’s rights in different countries


An international map of women’s rights

If certain countries are pioneers in terms of women’s rights, others still have a long way to go. After all, we are at the dawn of the third millennium. French newspaper Le Monde, in association with The Huffington Post, recently published interactive world maps showing the major disparities in terms of women’s rights in different countries.

1/ Abortion rights

Abortion is legal in most European countries, except for Poland, Ireland and Finland, where it is allowed only under certain conditions. In terms of the rest of the world, it is banned in South America (except for Uruguay), in Central America, in the Middle East and in almost all African countries. South East Asia is also opposed, but India, China, Turkey and Russia allow it.

Abortion legal: 

 Dark purple:  Yes                  Light purple: No


Screenshot: Le Monde / Huffington Post

2/ Access to divorce

The Philippines are totally against divorce, while the following countries allow it only under certain conditions (generally with women having less rights than men): Mauritius, Chad, Ivory Coast, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Access to divorce:

Light Green: Yes            Dark Green: No            Orange: Yes, but not with the same rights as men

Screenshot: Le Monde/The Huffington Post

3/ Requirement for a male escort

As unthinkable as it may seem, there are still countries nowadays that insist on women always having authorisation from a male in order to exist within the law and to make their decisions for them: Bolivia, Mali, Mauritius, Chad, Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia and most Middle Eastern countries, which all treat women as children. In Bolivia, for example, women need authorisation from a man in order to be allowed to work. In Saudi Arabia, they can’t get medical treatment without the authorisation of a male (who could be their husband, their brother or their father).

Legal rights (need for a male escort/authorisation or not):

Blue: Yes, free to make their own legal choices               Navy: No, only with male authorisation

Screenshot: Le Monde/The Huffington Post

4/ Wage parity

Salary equality, even in Europe, seems to be the utopia according to the annual enquiry of a global economic forum, which showed that no country has yet closed the gender wage gap, achieving a perfect gender wage gap index of 1. The most advanced countries in this sphere are Iceland (0.87), Finland (0.85) and Norway (0.84).

Gender wage gap index (global economic forum)

Red: 0.5 to 0.58                     Orange:  0.58 to  0.56             Yellow: 0.65 to 0.70

Light green: 0.70 to 0.78      Mid-green: 0.78 to 0.82           Dark green: 0.82 and over

Screenshot: Le Monde / The Huffington Post  /Forum Economique Mondial