Iceland Takes Gender Equality Lead; U.S. Falls to 31st

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When it comes to equality between men and women, the Nordic countries have everyone else beat. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2009, which measures countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, placed Iceland at No. 1, followed by Finland, Norway (last year’s top ranked) and Sweden.

Rounding out the top 10 were New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Ireland, Philippines and Lesotho.
Some countries in the Western Hemisphere made great strides in improving their rankings, but not the United States. Paraguay (66) climbed a record 36 spots. The U.S. fell by three places, due to small declines in economic opportunities for American women, and improvements by other countries.  The United States has a particularly low rating when it comes to the gap between the pay for men and women doing the same work.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
The Global Gender Gap Report (World Economic Forum) (PDF)
United States Gender Gap Index Report (World Economic Forum) (PDF)


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