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Norway tops gender gap index, Yemen ranked worst
Apparently Nordic countries provide the greatest equality for women when it comes to economics, educaton, politics and health. Equal pay, labour force participation rates, literacy rates, enrolment in tertiary education, female representation in parliament, life expectancy and sex ratios at birth are most equal in Norway, Finland and Sweden.
Female empowerment is embraced more today than any other time in world history. And in the global push for gender equality in everything from business to politics, education to health, it's Europe that has made the greatest strides to close the so-called gender gap.
The World Economic Forum, the nonprofit organization known for its annual economic summit in Davos Switzerland has been publishing an annual Global Gender Gap Report since 2006 that ranks countries by their gender performance.
Norway, Finland and Sweden are ranked the best countries for gender equality. Those Nordic countries and their Western European neighbors account for 16 of the top 30 countries with the greatest gender parity in the world.
Meanwhile, the US ranked at only No. 27, behind Lesotho (No. 16), Mozambique (No. 18) and Moldova (No. 20). The worst-ranked countries were sprinkled throughout the Middle East and Asia. Garden spots like Chad (129th), Saudi Arabia (128th) and Pakistan (127th) populated the bottom of the list. Yemen ranked absolutely worst at No. 130.
The Global Gender Gap Report measures the size of the gender gap (the disparity in opportunities available for men and women) for 130 countries in four critical areas:
- economic participation and opportunity
- health and survival
- educational attainment
- political empowerment.
A country's rank is based on the overall score, which is expressed in a percent. The score represents how much of the gender gap the country has been able to close. A score of 100% would represent perfect equality. The majority of the data come from various non-government organizations such as the International Labor Organization, United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization.
Norway, ranked No. 1, scored 82%. Finland came in second place with an estimated 82%, while Sweden posted a score of 81.4%. The U.S. has closed 72% of its gender gap, according to the study, while Yemen has closed 47%.
Other countries in the top 10 include Iceland (80%), New Zealand (79%), the Philippines (76%), Denmark (75%) and the Netherlands (74%). The U.K. ranked 13th (74%), while Canada ranked 31st (71%),hurt by poor showings in educational attainment and political empowerment.
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