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What’s the best country for women? It’s Iceland according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013. Finland Norway, Sweden, Philippines, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Switzerland and Nicaragua rounded out the top ten with the United States ranking 23 out of the 136 countries included in the Index.
Introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, the Global Gender Gap Index is a framework for measuring gender-gap disparities and tracking their progress over time. The Index benchmarks national gender gaps in four basic categories: Economic Participation and Opportunity which includes differences in participation in the workforce, measurements of male vs. female income and the advancement of women and men; Educational Attainment which captures the women’s and men’s access to education; Health and Survival which measures the differences between women’s and men’s health including estimated life spans; and Political Empowerment which accesses the number of women in high-levels of government.
While no country has achieved gender equality, the Index notes that three Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway and Sweden) have closed over 80 percent of the gender gap making them models for International comparison. They emerge as “top performers and true leaders” when it comes to gender equality.
The North American region has improved five percent over the last eight years according to the Index. However, despite an improvement in its overall score, the United States moved down one spot (from 22 in 2012 to 23 in 2013) due to stronger performances by other countries. Canada moved up one spot in the overall ranking to number 20.
To read The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 visit the World Economic Forum.