The WomanStats Project
has published an array of maps
depicting the challenges and conditions facing women worldwide today. The maps, which serve as a visual representation of the project’s database, cover gender-linked security issues such as: son preference and sex ratio, physical security, inequity in family law, human trafficking, polygamy, maternal mortality, discrepancy in education, government participation, intermingling between the sexes in public, and required dress codes.
These maps help researchers visually see correlations between two or more map themes. For example, Women’s Physical Security is moderately correlated to fertility rate, while Sex Ratio/Son Preference is not highly correlated to any other measures tested, such as women in the labor force, democracy, political rights, and economic rights. In addition to maps, the WomanStats Project’s database was used to create graphs that compare the scale values of Physical Security Clusters and Son Preference/Sex Ratio Distributions to the number of countries the scale level affected.
Some of the maps would benefit from additional functionality. For example, the “Women’s Physical Security” map broadly categorizes states based on high, medium, and low levels of security, but the legend is not linked to the definitions of these classifications. Another useful addition would be data tables that rank the countries for each theme. Such enhancements would better enable the viewer to perform empirical and spatial analysis of the status of women.
Overall, the WomanStats Project maps offer the viewer engaging visual depictions of how women’s lives vary across the world, and how countries compare to each other in terms of women’s security.
Josephine Kim is a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point and an intern with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program.
Map and graph used courtesy of the WomanStats Project.