Iceland is the Best Place to Be a Woman. The U.S.? Not So Much

by Adrienne Tooley

The World Economic Forum released the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report, and for the fifth year in a row, Iceland was declared the country with the smallest gender gap. Rounding out the top five nations are Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Philippines. This means women in these countries have the most equal access to education and healthcare, and are more actively involved in government and economics. It also means Scandinavia is one rad place.

The gender gap has narrowed in the past year—86 of 133 countries showed improvements. However, as Saadia Zahidi, one of the report’s authors says, “change is definitely slow.”

Interestingly, none of the G20—the leading industrial nations—are represented in the top 10 countries on this list. Neither are any countries from the Middle East or Africa. The Phillippines, at number 5, is the highest ranked Asian nation, and Nicaragua, at number 10 is the highest ranked American country.

The United States ultimately scored worse this year, ranking 23rd, down from 22nd place in 2012.

Check out BBC’s comprehensive display of the data, in the form of interactive maps. You can compare the countries’ overall effectiveness with more specified groups of data, and see how they rank in the case of individual issues such as education and economics.


Thanks to BBC, World Economic Forum

Images courtesy of BBC & the European Commission 

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