The 21st Century has seen immense technological advancements that have significantly impacted and transformed how people live. The transition has also impacted societal beliefs, value systems and norms. This list of the most conservative countries globally discusses countries that have chosen to hold on to their traditional norms.
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Determining a nation's conservatism is not as straightforward since every country has unique circumstances. Nonetheless, our barometer will be social progress index indicators like religious tolerance, freedom of expression, gender gap and access to social amenities. These factors will help handpick the most conservative countries in the world.
Top 10 most conservative countries in the world
The international community has labelled certain nations as conservative. However, does being labelled as traditional sound negative? Understanding conservatism would be fundamental in this discussion.
What are conservative beliefs? Typically, a conservative person is a non-conformer who does not believe in or support divorce, abortion, same-sex marriage or other controversial topics. They are resistant to change and are more inclined to promote the country's traditional and social institutions. So, how about unpacking the most conservative countries globally and understanding what makes them qualify to be on this list.
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Ethiopia is one of the unique countries globally; it follows a different calendar, unlike the rest of the world. It is also one of the most populous countries in Africa. Ethiopia is one of the most conservative countries in the world since it ranks poorly in the Gender Gap Report.
The country has restrictions on access to most of the media and internet. Most of the internet service-providing companies are state-owned; hence, the restrictions.
Swaziland is a monarch country in Southern Africa. It features in this of conservative nations because it ranks poorly in the Social Progress Index. The citizens of Swaziland do not have access to clean water, sanitation and shelter. HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country is 27%, one of the highest rates in the world.
Lebanon is another conservative nation, although it is known for its rich archaeological heritage and exotic food. Lebanon's system of government is a de jure mix of politics and religion. It has experienced instability due to the armed conflict between Syria and Israel. It also ranks 145th in the Gender Gap Report.
7. Saudi Arabia
Due to its rich and huge oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is a very rich country. However, it is famous for its old-fashioned laws on women. An example is that a male guardian should always accompany a woman.
Saudi Arabia has a population of more than 35 million people and is an absolute monarchy state. It has poor human rights records and is known for discriminating against religious minorities.
Egypt is one of the richest countries in Africa due to its abundant natural resources. However, it is sixth in the list of the most conservative countries in the world. The country scores poorly on personal equities. It is also dominated by the military force, which is influential in Egyptians' economic, political life.
Chad is a country in the north-central region of Africa. It has a population of more than 116 million people, and its citizens speak French and Arabic. It is fifth in the list of the most conservative countries since its citizens do not have access to basic amenities like sanitation and clean water. Homosexuality is also a criminal offence in the country, and neither does Chad tolerate the LGBTQ community.
Chad's political situation is not the most stable, and the country's government largely promotes traditional norms and culture. It is considered the most right-wing country in the world.
Pakistan is fourth in the list and would pass as the most conservative place to live in the world. It has a population of more than 225 million people, and more than 97% are Muslims. It is one of the highest Muslim populated countries in the world.
Pakistan has extreme religious beliefs which involve husbands subjecting their wives to inhuman treatment. Women also face the negative effects of career progression since they are discriminated against when accessing education, health and political representation.
Iran is a West Asian country with a population of 84 million. More than 61% of Iran's population is Persian, and its civilization is regarded as one of the oldest, dating back to 400 BC. As a result, it features third in the list of the most morally conservative countries.
According to the world economic forum, Iran also ranks low in the Gender Gap Report. The country does not support freedom of the press, and any voice supporting pro-reform have been put behind bars, or the press has been shut down.
Mali is a western African country with 20 million people, and 68% of them live in rural areas. Mali's social progress index is the lowest in Africa, and its citizens lack access to education. Since Islam is the most dominant religion, women have negatively faced the impacts of the highly patriarchal society.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, Mali is 157th of 160 countries in the gender inequality index.
Yemen, a country in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, is the most conservative country. With a population of more than 30 million, Yemen has second-rate personal rights for its citizens. Corruption is also rampant in most government institutions in Yemen.
The majority of Yemen's population lives in rural areas, but they do not have access to healthcare. The healthcare systems in Yemen are also not the best.
These details of the most conservative countries in the world in 2021 reveal how social norms affect their citizens. The information is fundamental in determining where to settle, especially if you are moving countries.
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Source: Briefly News