Safest Countries for Women in 2023
Ever wondered where women can walk the streets freely at any hour? Well, I have. As a female nomad myself, I’ve had a chance to solo travel to countless countries. And safety has always been on the top of my mind.
In this article, I’ve listed the top 10 safest countries for women based on the Women Peace and Security Index 2021-22 (WPS Index). We believe this data might help our fellow female digital nomads who are planning their next destination. Scroll down to also check the top 20 list.
Top 10 Safest Countries for Women
The top four performers on the index are all Nordic countries—Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark—while Sweden, the other Nordic country, ranks seventh. According to the report’s findings, this is mostly due to the public policies that promote a dual-earner model. Also, gender gaps in workforce participation are very small in Nordic countries.
10. The Netherlands
Women’s rights are a central focus of politics in the Netherlands, with people working to improve women’s lives not only in the Netherlands but around the world. The Netherlands is ahead of many other countries in the globe in terms of women’s empowerment and rights, thanks to campaigning and legislation.
The Netherlands has worked hard to remove the gender roles that are associated with nuclear families. Women in the Netherlands are finally finding methods to support themselves and their families by better integrating them into the labor market and government posts.
9. The United Kingdom
Through programs on girls’ education, and preventing sexual violence, the United Kingdom has been a significant supporter of women’s rights and empowerment.
The Women’s Equality Party, created in 2015, brings together people of various genders, ages, backgrounds, nationalities, views, and experiences in the common goal of ensuring that women have the same rights and opportunities as men so that everyone may thrive.
Austria continues its efforts to enhance gender equality and women’s empowerment. The National Action Plan on the Protection of Women Against Violence, which was enacted in 2014, is still being implemented.
In 2016, new legislation on sexual harassment, as well as a new clause on cyberbullying and the “Initiative against Online Violence,” were enacted to combat hate speech, cyberbullying, and non-consensual sexting. Furthermore, the all-day school program, which aims to promote the balance of work and family life for both men and women, will be expanded, with the number of places available in all-day schools being doubled until 2025.
Sweden has been a strong supporter of gender equality for a long time. The guiding principle in Sweden is that everyone, regardless of gender, has the right to work and support oneself, to combine work and family life, and to live without fear of abuse or violence.
Gender equality entails not simply an equal distribution of men and women across all societal spheres. It’s also about the qualitative components, ensuring that men’s and women’s expertise and experience are put to good use in all parts of society.
Switzerland has taken significant steps to firmly embed gender equality and women’s rights in its new institutional architecture, using Agenda 2030 as a guide. Gender equality, women’s empowerment, and improving their rights are all part of Switzerland’s new Sustainable Development Strategy.
Gender equality and the rights of women and girls are also listed as one of the seven strategic objectives and a cross-cutting issue in the Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation. Unpaid care work has been divided more evenly between men and women through the development and implementation of policies.
Luxembourg is committed to fostering a society free of gender stereotypes and promoting gender equality in all aspects of life. The country is dedicated to fighting against domestic abuse and gender stereotypes and has enacted legislation based on the principle of salary equality. In 2015, Luxembourg formed the ‘Ministry of Equality between Women and Men,’ a ministry committed to gender equality.
Luxembourg is the only EU country to have a ministry dedicated solely to gender equality. Its aims and actions are primarily concerned with legal and factual gender equality.
The Danes place a high value on equality. A Minister for Equality is generally included in the Danish governing coalition. In terms of gender equality, women are more prominent in business, while males play an active role in child-raising. Denmark’s substantial parental leave and tax-subsidized daycare encourage women to work outside the home and pursue careers while raising a family.
In Denmark’s government, women are well-represented. Around 40% of Denmark’s parliament and many of the ministers are women.
Gender equality is a characteristic of Icelandic society, in alignment with the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. No public corporation board, government council, or committee may have less than 40% gender equality, according to Article 15 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men.
In Iceland, any company with more than 25 employees must also have a gender equality program in place, with targets to be reviewed every three years, according to the law.
Finland has a long history of gender equality, having been the first country in the world to grant women full political rights in 1906. Women in Finland typically work full-time and have equal access to education and healthcare. It is also where women are most likely to be able to fully engage in the political and economic life of the country.
In Finland, men and women are equally represented in the workforce. This is due to the availability of low-cost, high-quality child care, work-life balance initiatives, and a policy that distributes family leaves more fairly across parents. Discrimination based on gender, gender identity, and gender expression is illegal.
Norway is regarded as one of the world’s most gender-equal countries. The main goal of Norway’s efforts in the field of women’s rights and gender equality is to expand opportunities for women and girls, promote their right to self-determination, and empower them. In addition, the country tries to promote gender equality on a global scale.
Norway has consented to all human rights treaties and international conference agreements that offer a legal framework for eradicating gender-based discrimination and gender-based human rights breaches.
The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index is a three-dimensional assessment of women’s well-being:
Women’s achievements in education, employment, and parliamentary participation, as well as access to cell phones and financial services, are used to measure inclusion.
Both formal and informal aspects of justice are represented. It covers the level of legal discrimination against women.
The index measures security at the family, community, and society extent. It also includes an understanding of community safety which has an impact on women’s mobility.
20 Safest Countries for Women
The United Kingdom
Source: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Peace Research Institute Oslo. 2021. Women, Peace, and Security Index 2021/22.
10 Most Dangerous Countries for Women
Women Peace and Security Index
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Safest Countries for Women: The Bottom Line
Actually, this is one of the fewer lists we drafted on GoVisaFree, in which I have actually visited all of the countries listed in the Top 10.
It’s clear that some countries prioritize women’s safety and gender equality. Women in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden enjoy some of the safest and most supportive environments in the world.
These countries have low rates of gender-based violence, high levels of female representation in government, and robust laws and policies that protect women’s rights and ensure their equal access to opportunities.
While there is still work to be done to improve safety and equality for women globally, the progress made by the above countries provides a roadmap for others to follow.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the safest countries for women?
The safest countries for women are those that have low rates of crime against women, high levels of gender equality, and robust laws protecting women’s rights. Some of the best countries for women include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and Iceland. These countries have low rates of gender-based violence, high levels of education and healthcare, and robust laws that protect women’s rights.
What criteria are used to assess safety for women?
Safety for women is assessed based on several criteria, including rates of gender-based violence, access to healthcare and education, economic opportunities, political representation, and legal protections. Countries that perform well in all of these areas are considered safer for women.
What makes a country dangerous for women?
A country can be dangerous for women due to high rates of gender-based violence, limited access to healthcare and education, poor economic opportunities, low levels of political representation, and weak legal protections for women’s rights. Societal attitudes and cultural norms that perpetuate gender inequality can also contribute to a country being dangerous for women.
What do the safest countries for women have in common?
The safest countries for women have several things in common, including strong legal protections for women’s rights, high levels of gender equality, and robust healthcare and education systems. They also tend to have low rates of gender-based violence and offer women economic opportunities and political representation.
What are the best places for women to live?
The best places for women to live are those that offer high levels of safety, economic opportunities, healthcare, education, and political representation. Some of the most female-friendly countries in the world include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Iceland, and New Zealand.
What is the most safe country for a woman in the world?
The most safe country for a woman in the world is subjective and depends on several factors, including personal preferences, economic opportunities, and cultural norms. However, countries like Norway, Sweden, and Finland consistently rank high in safety and gender equality indexes.
What are the best countries for women's rights?
The best countries for women’s rights are those that offer robust legal protections for women, political representation, and access to healthcare and education. Some of the best countries for women’s rights include Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and Denmark.
What is the safest country for women to live in?
The safest country for women to live in is subjective and depends on several factors, including personal preferences, economic opportunities, and cultural norms. However, countries like Norway, Sweden, and Finland consistently rank high in safety and gender equality indexes.
How do the safest countries for women promote gender equality?
The safest countries for women promote gender equality by implementing policies and laws that support women’s rights, providing equal access to education and employment opportunities, and actively working to break down gender stereotypes and norms. They also have high levels of female representation in government and encourage women to participate in all aspects of public life.
Are there any challenges faced by women in these countries?
While the safest countries for women may have lower rates of gender-based violence and gender inequality than other countries, women still face challenges related to sexism, discrimination, and unequal pay. Some women also face cultural or religious barriers that may limit their freedom or opportunities.
How can other countries learn from these safe countries and improve women's safety?
Other countries can learn from the safest countries for women by implementing policies and laws that promote gender equality, providing education and healthcare opportunities to women, and creating programs to combat gender-based violence. It is also important to challenge cultural and societal norms that perpetuate gender inequality.
How can women traveling to other countries ensure their safety?
Women traveling to other countries can ensure their safety by researching the local laws and customs, traveling with trusted companions, avoiding unfamiliar or dangerous areas, and staying aware of their surroundings. It may also be helpful to learn some basic self-defense techniques and to have a plan in case of an emergency.
What steps can be taken to ensure the safety of women in countries with high rates of gender-based violence?
Countries with high rates of gender-based violence can take several steps to improve women’s safety, including implementing stricter laws and penalties for perpetrators of violence, providing education and resources to survivors of violence, and working to change cultural attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality. It is also important to involve men and boys in these efforts, as they play a crucial role in ending gender-based violence.