25 Fast Facts About Women Around the World

by Kelly on February 21, 2008 · 48 comments

in Life. People. News,Parenting. Relationships,Women. Beauty. Feminism


I love trivia and learning new things, so I tend to read far and wide. The following is a list of 25 Fast Facts About Women Around the World. Some are quirky, some serious, and others are just downright depressing. I tried to offer a balance of each, and hope that there’s something to make you smile, as well as something to make you think.

Here’s the 25 that got my attention and made the list.

1. 80% of the 50 million people around the world who are affected by violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement are women and children

2. In 2004, 48.8% of the seats held in parliament in Rwanda were held by women. Contrast that to Cuba where 36% of the seats were held by women, and the USA, where 14.3 % of the seats were held by women. Saudi Arabia and the Solomon Islands are just two countries where there are no women in parliament (UNDP, Human Development Report 2004)

3. In 76 countries, less than half the eligible girls are enrolled in secondary school

4. Women own only 1% of the world’s land

5. Approximately three million women in the USA sport tattoos

6. A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn’t give her coffee

7. 43% of Australian marriages end in divorce. of those who remarry, 65% of them will divorce again. By the time you try for marriage number 3, your chance of getting divorced is about 75%

8. The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth

9. It is illegal to be a prostitute in Siena, Italy, if your name is Mary

10. In parts of Malaya, the women keep harems of men

11. The two highest IQ’s ever recorded (on a standard test) both belong to women

12. In Kenya where 38% of the farms are run by women, those women manage to harvest the same amount per hectare (2.47 acres) as men, despite men having greater access to loans, advice, fertilizers, hybrid seeds, insecticides. And when women were given the same level of help, they were found to be more efficient than men, and produced bigger harvests

13. Over half a million women die in childbirth every year in Africa and Asia

14. Nearly 1/2 of all Indonesian women have had their first child by the time they are 17

15. In the USA, unintended pregnancies account for almost half of all pregnancies

16. According to The World Health Org., 40 per cent of girls aged 17 or under in South Africa are reported to have been the victim of rape or attempted rape

17. In Sweden, 76% of mothers work, the highest percentage in the developed world

18. Australia, New Zealand and the US are among a handful of governments that do not require women to be paid some form of maternity leave. In countries as diverse as Russia, Colombia, Laos and Morocco, the government foots the entire bill for three to six months of maternity leave

19. By age 55, 95% of all U.S. women have married

20. In 2007 the world’s richest self-made woman was Ms Zhang Yin, a Chinese paper recycling entrepreneur

21. Only 5% of Hollywood feature films are directed by women

22. Today, Japan leads the world in condom use. Like cosmetics, they’re sold door to door, by women

23. Seventy percent of women would rather have chocolate than sex (Poll taken in a 1995 women’s magazine)

24. Australian women have sex on the first date more than women the same age in the USA and Canada

25. China is considered the next big marketing opportunity for the tobacco industry because only 3.8% of Chinese women smoke, compared with 63 % of adult males

When you research the state of women around the world, I am sad to say that finding inspiring facts and figures is difficult. There is much that I left off this list, simply because I didn’t want to send everyone into a black mood for the day!

We may look around at progress in developed countries and feel women are better off than they’ve ever been, but we are such a minority. The story is completely different for much of the world’s women, who are suffering from the same persecution, and deplorable health and living conditions that they’ve endured for centuries. I’ll try to remember that the next time I’m complaining about my life.

If you have access to a computer, shelter, breakfast in your tummy and are able to read this, then you already have so much to be grateful for.

Have a great day.

:) Kelly

Photo by elchapincito.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kailani 02.22.08 at 9:54 am

Thank you. This really puts thing into perspective. I can’t even imagine living somewhere where I don’t have the freedoms that I’m lucky to have today.

Mahalo for stopping by and for commenting!

2 Blue 02.23.08 at 12:51 am

Excellent list. It is always important for us to remember that others do not have the benefits that others do.

Another fact.

1 in 4 sexually active women in the US have type 2 genital herpes. To complicate the statistic, herpes is not generally included in STD testing even though 90% of those who have the virus are unaware of their status, because they either have no symptoms or their symptoms mimic one of many other minor conditions such as a yeast infection. All women should demand their doctors give them a type specific blood test at their next physical and make sure their sexual partners do the same. Genital herpes is much easier for women to contract than men. Know your partner’s status before becoming sexually active.

Protect yourself by educating yourself!

3 Kelly 02.23.08 at 11:41 pm

Kailani, glad I could make you feel a bit more blessed. Thanks for stopping by.

Blue, I think PROTECT YOURSELF BY EDUCATING YOURSELF is a great creed to live by in every area of life. Thanks for your comment


4 Brandon Sergent 02.24.08 at 8:25 am

Sad fact is however, generally only western women will read this. and they will not feel thankful as a result, they will feel entitled to further abuse men.

Men are an underclass in America.

Click my link if you don’t believe me.

5 Kelly 02.24.08 at 5:53 pm


I like to give every comment and individual their due, but I am at a loss as to what to say to you. I did click through your link and I read your thoughts, and I am frankly stumped as to how one becomes convinced of such extreme and illogical notions.

You say “Men Die Sooner” as if that is a woman’s fault. What’s it got to do with us?

And “Men lose jobs to women because of their gender alone”. In what universe? How many female politicians and top executives are there? Why do women still earn less than men for the same job? Why are women do women still make up the majority of the part-time workforce?

And “Women are constantly told by society how beautiful they are”. Yeah right, and that’s why we’re the ones on the cover of all the magazines every week having our wobbly bits ridiculed and pointed out for the world to laugh at. And that’s why female TV newsreaders are supposed to be young and attractive while the men can be old and fat. And why there are whole industries based on making women feel insecure and ugly. It’s because everyone tells us how FUCKING BEAUTIFUL we are.

Sorry Brandon, although I’m with you that it can be a confusing world for modern males, saying that you’re an underclass is just plain ridiculous. Maybe if you take some personal responsibility for being the best man you can be (on your own terms) and give up all the anti-female ranting, then you might have a more fulfilling life and a relationship which sets your world aglow. I wish you the best.


6 julie 02.28.08 at 3:30 am

Brandon Sergent
“Further abuse men.” “Men are the underclass.”I don’t know what experience you’ve had to make you come to this attitude, but everyone has people in their lives who behave crappily. However, statistics show that women are BY FAR more often the recipients of physical, sexual and psychological abuse throughout their lives. Don’t expect much sympathy.

7 mohd ariff 03.02.08 at 1:24 pm

We have raed your facts, but these is facts of life between men & women. There is both negative & positive on us. But, do we know why does this things happened. the answers is with us. As a man, we can see how does our behaviour toward women. The World could be govern by the men or women, that doesn’t matter, but the problems is their treatment toward each others when they control.
We suggest people need to live with principle as to respect & love each others. Why women today facing alots of soceity problems towards their living. There many factors that we need to discuss. As the 25 facts, thats are already mentioned, we could see that, most of them either they live with poverty or ignoring their religions or basic principles that everyone of us need to know how to protect ourself.
We love women, remember they are mother of all men, as whether who they are. Women need to be respected & protected & not to abuse them. We have to take care of them, no matter at whats’ condition they are. Blaming the women on the facts, doesn’t going to solve the issues of their social problems. If we love our mothers, wifes, girlls, sisters & all the women thats related to our families, whyn’t we love the whole women in the world. They are the future mother of these Universe. Please help them, as we are helping our own parents, relatives & friends.
Best regards to al the Women in the World.

8 KellyK 03.15.08 at 5:44 pm

Men are abused, at least in the US. Feminists haven’t advanced to a man’s level, yet have brought them down to theirs’. There is no masculinity anymore, and therefore, men are abused. Women should have the same rights, of course, but to make a man feel belittled, has made men an underclass. Obviously, I am a proud anti-feminist, but don’t assume that I didn’t find most of these facts depressing and unfair.

9 vale 03.18.08 at 9:54 am

“9. It is illegal to be a prostitute in Siena, Italy, if your name is Mary”
Prostitution is illegal in Italy, whatever is you name… And so is in Siena.

10 Garrotte 04.01.08 at 6:36 pm

Hi, I’m from New Zealand. We do get paid maternity leave here.

11 Kelly 04.01.08 at 6:48 pm


This was from a 2004 OECD report, so thanks for the update. Unfortunately, Australia is still lagging.


12 cate 04.01.08 at 11:38 pm

In Serbia, women getfully paid maternity leave for 12 months. In case that woman has some medical complications, and has to stop working earlier than due date, she gets 65% of regular pay.
However, because of this regulation, many companies do not want to employ young women, with no children, or ask them to sign contract that they will not stay pregnant for certain period of time (2 or 5 years)

13 Three 04.02.08 at 10:04 pm

10. In parts of Malaya, the women keep harems of men.

this is ridiculous.. i’m from ‘so-called-malaya’, women does not kept harems of men here.. not since well, forever..

14 Kelly 04.02.08 at 11:28 pm


If you are indeed from Malaya and that is not true, I apologize. I will admit that I checked and re-checked the sources for the serious facts, but anything trivial and fun I didn’t bother. I only wish it was easier to find funny or positive FACTS to put on a list like this about women. Unfortunately, it’s not.


15 Binita Temenggung 04.07.08 at 2:26 am

no 14. half of Indonesian women had their first child by the time they are 17.

dude, that is so not true. I don’t know where ur getting this but i’m telling you that those so called facts are wrong.
Indonesia may be a developed country but that doesn’t mean women here have less moral, education or whatsoever.
u should tell your source to do a proper sampling and statistic method.

try learning and searching more about Indonesian women before putting up no 14.

16 Kelly 04.07.08 at 8:42 am


Any facts I used that were not positive or trivial were researched back to good sources. This one was from Women : A World Report, 1985, New Internationalist Publications Ltd., , 42 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford, OXI 2EP, United Kingdom. The only thing I will apologise for is that I thought it was from 1995. If I’d seen the ’85 I would have dismissed it as too old. That said though, I’d find it hard to believe that this stat has gone to 5% or anything in 20 years – it would be unlikely.

I’d also like to say I am not pointing out facts like this to indicate Indonesian women are immoral. I am not blaming women – far from it. This post is testament to the fact that women are suffering diminished choices and legal, political, sociological treatment in countries across the globe. And I’m afraid there are still lots of depressing facts to be had for women in Indonesia, despite what you may think. Just consider this one source and I think you should agree there is still far to go:


I did not write this post lightly and I do have sources for all of these serious facts. Most came from the following:

UNDP, Human Development Report 2004
World Health Organisation
Engendering Development: Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice
By World Bank
Women, A World Report
US and Australian Census Reports
The Guiness Book of Records
Internal Womens Day Report, the UN 2007

17 Ian Ching 04.08.08 at 8:44 am

No. 10 is NOT true. I come from Malaysia (formerly known as Malaya) and there is no such thing as women keeping harems of men. In fact, we do have Muslim men having more than 1 wife, up to a maximum of 4 wives. Being a muti-racial country, the 4 wives rule is only applicable to Muslims under the Syariah law. And having “harems of men” is definitely out of the question.

Please check your facts.

18 Astrid Dita 04.29.08 at 11:51 pm

Just to support Binita’s opinion..
Dude, you really should come up with updated datas.
1985? 1995?
You guys freaking kidding?

Astrid Dita’s last blog post..Of Thoughts

19 Medical Symptoms Search 07.30.08 at 3:13 pm

Great work once again. I am a medical engineer student and I love visiting your site and learning about the latest news. Keep it up! :)

20 Mango 11.03.08 at 7:13 am

Wow.. Very inspiring. I love it! Good job. =D

21 Rex 01.06.09 at 9:59 pm

Why are some women very hard to please personally…
Actors please them more…

22 realfeminist 01.28.09 at 4:51 pm

Dear kelly.
Thanks for providing such information .In view of the comments we can say that there is possibility of mistakes and human error in establishing ,selecting and presenting such information.
However your effort is good but be sure that informations are received from genuine sources

23 Delynn 02.21.09 at 4:36 am

Interesting! So Americans are really lagging as far as legislation is concerned. And hooray for Swedes, going back to work after having a kid. Lol I’m gonna look for my Mr. Mom, myself, so I can do that too (in the very distant future where I am out of school and looking for a husband). Haha watch me be one of the 5% who has never married at 55.

24 Alex 02.28.09 at 2:17 am

How about add this to your list. majority of women are born with the ability to have a children I’m a man and for me women success is not minor, Majority of women are successful in rasing their child, giving love to husband and being happy doing this. Thank God i have a mother. So i salute you all.

25 Ali 05.20.09 at 4:50 pm

I am from Saudi Arabia.
I would like to thank you for your efforts. However, the fact you mentioned about Saudi women (In my opinion)is not a fact as you listed. I am not saying it is not fact at all. Since you’ve stated that you search before listing, but since I am Saudi and I have not heard about what you’ve said means it might be a wrong idea or at least it might be real in some area in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi population is 24 million/ half of them are women.

In this situation I believe it’s kind of generalization without enough information to call it fact. This led me to believe in another hand, that the sentences you call it fact about other country are also far away from what educated people can call it facts.

Again thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to hear some real fact about women and countries.

26 Anne 10.20.09 at 4:40 pm

I may be in the minority, but I think when women quit exposing their bodies as a commodity (and I am talking about celebrity women in America – think how many get recognition when they finally “take it all off”) we may go a long way towards changing attitudes around the world toward women as being sexual objects to be exploited.

It is a subject gaining more attention but how many people realize, or care, that millions of women around the world are being sold into literal sexual slavery? Again, in the West, we perpetuate the attitude that encourages this by saying there is nothing wrong with women displaying their bodies, that it makes women “powerful.” No it doesn’t, it merely feeds into the attitude of too many men that women are merely objects to be used and exploited at will.

27 alterity 01.20.10 at 7:45 pm

>14. Nearly 1/2 of all Indonesian women have had their first child by the time they are 17

I live in Indonesia and I can tell you this is certainly not true. Even marriages less than 18 are rare.
.-= alterity´s last blog ..Seven amazing sex facts about Indonesia =-.

28 jack 09.02.11 at 1:52 pm

Is it mend fault that women only own 1% of all land on earth?and referring to statement 1 do u not think that the men that went to war were affected, trying to give you women freedom and safety? Seriously the phycologial damage is unimaginable, stop your winging and get over it….

29 Sumeet Kumar 06.21.12 at 9:18 pm

Amazing Facts… Em,…. We Need Some More Like :)

30 martey 08.02.12 at 10:03 pm

women are so special in mine life

31 ckio 08.19.12 at 12:14 am

I was not knowing about this things around the world It was quiet interesting and amazing and i wish they are correct Do like this only and great work is done by the people to find out these facts .

32 saudi girl 10.25.12 at 12:20 am

about fact number 6 !!
seriously , this is a joke !! I’m saudi and this is will never happened at alllll !!

33 Sanjeewani 12.31.12 at 4:04 am

@Anne – In countries where celebrities don’t “take it all of” and in historical times where women didn’t prance around half-naked – men viewed women as sexual objects..they were considered chattel…

34 Bibi@Fixed Price Divorce 01.02.14 at 11:23 pm

This is a nice one,:
6. A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn’t give her coffee

I’ll make sure i remind my hubby of this one, when he says i drink too much coffee:)))

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