Where’s the Best Place to be a Woman?
|October 29, 2013||Posted by Staff under Social Change|
This 2013 excerpt of the BBC of Oct 24 is by John Walton, Sophia Domfeh, Martyn Rees and Claire Shannon.
For five years in a row, Iceland has been rated the country with the world’s smallest gender gap by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Iceland is joined at the top of the The Global Gender Gap Report, 2013 by its Nordic neighbours Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Overall, the gender gap narrowed slightly across the globe in 2013, as 86 of 133 countries showed improvements. However, “change is definitely slow”, says one of the report’s authors, Saadia Zahidi.
Europe has seven countries in the top 10. The UK is 18th and the US is 23rd. The Philippines, at fifth, is the highest ranking Asian nation and Nicaragua is the highest-placed country from the Americas, at 10th.
The G20 group of leading industrial nations has no representative in the top 10, nor do the Middle East or Africa.
The three strongest-performing countries in Latin America are Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador, who all make the top 25 nations. Brazil’s position is unchanged from last year at 62nd.
The Persian Gulf states have tended to invest heavily in female education, with a reverse gender gap taking place in the United Arab Emirates. Many more women than men are now finishing university here. This contrasts with countries like Yemen, where levels of female education are very low.
African nations Chad and Ivory Coast come close to the bottom of the overall rankings. But southern Africa has some nations where a high level of labour force participation and political empowerment have helped bring them into the top 30 countries. Lesotho reaches 16th, South Africa is one place behind and Mozambique comes in at 26th.
China comes 69th overall, ahead of India at 101st. India’s low rank is due to poor scores from the WEF on education, health and economics.