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Gender Gap: It Is Good To Be A Woman In Iceland

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The world has largely shaken off its patriarchal mindset. Many governments around the world have realized that the economic and social progress of their respective nations is linked to providing their womenfolk equal opportunities in the service sector, pay, educational attainment, political participation and many other aspects. Today, more women can be seen in the government and private sector and many countries are being headed by women. However, closing the gender gap is still a matter of concern as women, in many nations, are still treated unfairly.

The world needs to learn a thing or two from Iceland, which is the best country in the world for women. Iceland ranked first on the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index of 2016 with a score of 0.874. But, this feat is nothing new for the European nation. Iceland has taken the honors eight years in a row and has closed some 87 percent of its overall gender gap.

The highest possible score of gender gap index is 1 (which means equality) and the lowest possible score is 0 (which denotes inequality). As per this, Iceland, which had a score of 0.874, closed 87 percent of its gender gap. It has largely attained equality by doing well in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment and political empowerment.

Though the number one nation, Iceland was not the only country that had closed more than 80 percent of its overall gender gap. The other nations in this category were Finland at second spot, Norway at third, Sweden at the fourth position and Rwanda at the fifth. In fact, the African nation of Rwanda is a role model for other African nations. The country, which had successfully closed 80 percent of its gender gap in 2016, had 64 percent of female parliamentarians.

The Philippines, which occupied the seventh spot with a score of 0.786, topped among the Asian nations. South Asia as a region had not fared that well in regards to the gender gap, with Bangladesh attaining the highest score. Coming at the 72nd rank, Bangladesh had a score of 0.698. Pakistan occupied the lowest position among the South Asian nations with a score of 0.556. However, overall it occupied the 143rd rank out of the 144 countries.

The United States, at the 45th rank, had a score of 0.722. In contrast, its neighbor Canada was ahead at the 35th rank with a score of 0.731. Australia at the 46th rank was way behind New Zealand, which was among the top performing countries. Coming at the ninth spot, New Zealand had a score of 0.781.

Other than Pakistan, countries such as Lebanon, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Mali, Iran, Chad, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen need to work a lot more on closing the gender gap. All these countries had a score of less than 0.6.

Country Rank Score
Iceland 1 0.874
Finland 2 0.845
Norway 3 0.842
Sweden 4 0.815
Rwanda 5 0.8
Ireland 6 0.797
Philippines 7 0.786
Slovenia 8 0.786
New Zealand 9 0.781
Nicaragua 10 0.78
Switzerland 11 0.776
Burundi 12 0.768
Germany 13 0.766
Namibia 14 0.765
South Africa 15 0.764
Netherlands 16 0.756
France 17 0.755
Latvia 18 0.755
Denmark 19 0.754
United Kingdom 20 0.752
Mozambique 21 0.75
Estonia 22 0.747
Bolivia 23 0.746
Belgium 24 0.745
Lithuania 25 0.744
Moldova 26 0.741
Cuba 27 0.74
Barbados 28 0.739
Spain 29 0.738
Belarus 30 0.737
Portugal 31 0.737
Costa Rica 32 0.736
Argentina 33 0.735
Luxembourg 34 0.734
Canada 35 0.731
Cape Verde 36 0.729
Bahamas 37 0.729
Poland 38 0.727
Colombia 39 0.727
Ecuador 40 0.726
Bulgaria 41 0.726
Jamaica 42 0.724
Lao PDR 43 0.724
Trinidad and Tobago 44 0.723
United States 45 0.722
Australia 46 0.721
Panama 47 0.721
Serbia 48 0.72
Israel 49 0.719
Italy 50 0.719
Kazakhstan 51 0.718
Austria 52 0.716
Tanzania 53 0.716
Botswana 54 0.715
Singapore 55 0.712
Zimbabwe 56 0.71
Lesotho 57 0.706
Mongolia 58 0.705
Ghana 59 0.705
Madagascar 60 0.704
Uganda 61 0.704
Albania 62 0.704
Kenya 63 0.702
El Salvador 64 0.702
Vietnam 65 0.7
Mexico 66 0.7
Malawi 67 0.7
Croatia 68 0.7
Ukraine 69 0.7
Chile 70 0.699
Thailand 71 0.699
Bangladesh 72 0.698
Macedonia,FYR 73 0.696
Venezuela 74 0.694
Russian Federation 75 0.691
Romania 76 0.69
Czech Republic 77 0.69
Honduras 78 0.69
Brazil 79 0.687
Peru 80 0.687
Kyrgyz Republic 81 0.687
Senegal 82 0.685
Bosnia and Herzegovina* 83 0.685
Cyprus 84 0.684
Cameroon 85 0.684
Azerbaijan 86 0.684
India 87 0.683
Indonesia 88 0.682
Montenegro 89 0.681
Georgia 90 0.681
Uruguay 91 0.681
Greece 92 0.68
Tajikistan 93 0.679
Slovak Republic 94 0.679
Suriname 95 0.679
Paraguay 96 0.676
Dominican Republic 97 0.676
Belize 98 0.676
China 99 0.676
Sri Lanka 100 0.673
Hungary 101 0.669
Armenia 102 0.669
Brunei Darussalam 103 0.669
Gambia, The 104 0.667
Guatemala 105 0.666
Malaysia 106 0.666
Swaziland 107 0.665
Malta 108 0.664
Ethiopia 109 0.662
Nepal 110 0.661
Japan 111 0.66
Cambodia 112 0.658
Mauritius 113 0.652
Liberia 114 0.652
Maldives 115 0.65
Korea, Rep. 116 0.649
Angola 117 0.643
Nigeria 118 0.643
Qatar 119 0.643
Algeria 120 0.642
Bhutan 121 0.642
Guinea 122 0.64
Burkina Faso 123 0.64
United Arab Emirates 124 0.639
Timor-Leste* 125 0.637
Tunisia 126 0.636
Benin 127 0.636
Kuwait 128 0.624
Mauritania 129 0.624
Turkey 130 0.623
Bahrain 131 0.615
Egypt 132 0.614
Oman 133 0.612
Jordan 134 0.603
Lebanon 135 0.598
Côte d’Ivoire 136 0.597
Morocco 137 0.597
Mali 138 0.591
Iran, Islamic Rep. 139 0.587
Chad 140 0.587
Saudi Arabia 141 0.583
Syria 142 0.567
Pakistan 143 0.556
Yemen 144 0.516

(Data sourced from the World Economic Forum)

Also See : Gender Gap in Internet Use

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