Female Murder and Geographical Disparities

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime provides a wealth of international crime related data. One of the valuable data metric that they have made available is a gender based view of homicide provided on a per country basis.

The map below was created using UNODC data, showing a pictorial view of the percentage of female homicide victims per country [1]; the larger the circles the greater the percentage of female victims. The graph also names the top ten countries that have the highest female homicide percentages.

Some takeaways from the data:

1. The vast majority of homicide victims in the world are male. At a global level, approximately 4 out of every 5 murder victim is male in gender (78%).

2. At 53% Japan and South Korea have the highest percentage of females murdered in the world i.e. for every murder that takes place within these two countries just over half of the victims are female.

3. Europe is significantly over-represented within the top quartile of countries with the disproportionate murder of women relative to the global average. The global murder ratio for women is 22% (i.e. approximately one out of every 5 persons murdered is female) and yet the percentages are significantly higher within Europe; for example, Germany 47%, Czech Republic 46%, Belgium 43%, France 38%, Romania 38%, Netherlands 35% and Spain 34%.

4. India, Myanmar and Bangladesh are the South Asian outliers with their respective female homicide percentages at 41%, 39% and 37% respectively.

The data does raise some very serious questions. Why are the gender percentages of murder so significantly skewed towards women in the Far East, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent in particular? Surely, this is an area that deserves further research to understand underlying causes. Currently based upon my own research in the domain, there is barely an acknowledgement of a problem, let alone a desire to address the status quo.

[1] Countries were filtered for populations greater than 10 million to make the map easier to visualise

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