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World’s best countries for women 2017

The best countries for women in terms of gender equality have been announced by the World Economic Forum in the new edition of its annual Global Gender Gap report.

The 2017 report assesses 144 economies on how well they utilise the female workforce in their country based on economic, educational, health-based and political indicators. The report can be used as an objective analysis of women’s quality of life compared with male peers, and to thereby rank the world’s best countries for women in terms of gender equality.

Assessing gender equality

To produce the Index, the World Economic Forum analyses more than a dozen datasets including those produced by World Economic Forum, UNESCO Institute of Statistics and the OECD.

The rankings are compiled by calculating gender-based gaps in accessing resources such as education, healthcare and inopportunities to participate in political and economic processes.

Assessing the gender gap enables the Index to compare rich and poor countries on an equal footing. It is the disparity between genders that is being measured rather than the baseline quality of living. This creates a ranking of the best countries for women according to the gap between genders.

Best countries for women: insights

Out of the 142 countries covered by the Index both this year and last year, 82 countries have improved their overall gender gap score compared to last year, while 60 have seen it decrease.

The Nordic states are consistently the best countries for women and have been so since the report was first produced in 2006.

Iceland (1) holds the top spot for the ninth year in a row. Norway (2) overtakes Finland and regains second place, while Finland (3) returns to its 2015 third-place position.

The 2017 report assesses 144 economies on how well they utilise the female workforce

Rwanda (4) continues its steady climb since first entering the Index and has now pushed Sweden into fifth. Rwanda is notably the country with the highest share of female parliamentarians in the world at 61%.

Denmark (14) and the United Kingdom (15) both climb several ranks from their position last year. The United States (49) has moved down four spots compared to 2016.

The worst country for gender parity is, as last year, Yemen (144). Making up the rest of the bottom five are Pakistan (143), Syria (142), Chad (141) and Iran (140).

Best countries for women ranking

The highest possible score is 1 (equality) and the lowest possible score is 0 (inequality).

RANKCOUNTRYSCORE
1Iceland0.878
2Norway0.830
3Finland0.823
4Rwanda0.822
5Sweden0.816
6Nicaragua0.814
7Slovenia0.805
8Ireland0.794
9New Zealand0.791
10Philippines0.790
11France0.778
12Germany0.778
13Namibia0.777
14Denmark0.776
15United Kingdom0.770
16Canada0.769
17Bolivia0.758
18Bulgaria0.756
19South Africa0.756
20Latvia0.756
21Switzerland0.755
22Burundi0.755
23Barbados0.750
24Spain0.746
25Cuba0.745
26Belarus0.744
27Bahamas0.743
28Lithuania0.742
29Mozambique0.741
30Moldova0.740
31Belgium0.739
32Netherlands0.737
33Portugal0.734
34Argentina0.732
35Australia0.731
36Colombia0.731
37Estonia0.731
38Albania0.728
39Poland0.728
40Serbia0.727
41Costa Rica0.727
42Ecuador0.724
43Panama0.722
44Israel0.721
45Uganda0.721
46Botswana0.720
47Bangladesh0.719
48Peru0.719
49United States0.718
50Zimbabwe0.717
51Jamaica0.717
52Kazakhstan0.713
53Mongolia0.713
54Croatia0.711
55Honduras0.711
56Uruguay0.710
57Austria0.709
58Romania0.708
59Luxembourg0.706
60Venezuela0.706
61Ukraine0.705
62El Salvador0.705
63Chile0.704
64Lao PDR0.703
65Singapore0.702
66Bosnia and Herzegovina0.702
67Macedonia, FYR0.702
68Tanzania0.700
69Vietnam0.698
70Dominican Republic0.697
71Russian Federation0.696
72Ghana0.695
73Lesotho0.695
74Slovak Republic0.694
75Thailand0.694
76Kenya0.694
77Montenegro0.693
78Greece0.692
79Belize0.692
80Madagascar0.692
81Mexico0.692
82Italy0.692
83Myanmar*0.691
84Indonesia0.691
85Kyrgyz Republic0.691
86Suriname0.689
87Cameroon0.689
88Czech Republic0.688
89Cape Verde0.686
90Brazil0.684
91Senegal0.684
92Cyprus0.684
93Malta0.682
94Georgia0.679
95Tajikistan0.678
96Paraguay0.678
97Armenia0.677
98Azerbaijan0.676
99Cambodia0.676
100China0.674
101Malawi0.672
102Brunei Darussalam0.671
103Hungary0.670
104Malaysia0.670
105Swaziland0.670
106Maldives0.669
107Liberia0.669
108India0.669
109Sri Lanka0.669
110Guatemala0.667
111Nepal0.664
112Mauritius0.664
113Guinea0.659
114Japan0.657
115Ethiopia0.656
116Benin0.652
117Tunisia0.651
118Korea, Rep.0.650
119Gambia, The0.649
120United Arab Emirates0.649
121Burkina Faso0.646
122Nigeria0.641
123Angola0.640
124Bhutan0.638
125Fiji*0.638
126Bahrain0.632
127Algeria0.629
128Timor-Leste0.628
129Kuwait0.628
130Qatar0.626
131Turkey0.625
132Mauritania0.614
133Côte d'Ivoire0.611
134Egypt0.608
135Jordan0.604
136Morocco0.598
137Lebanon0.596
138Saudi Arabia0.584
139Mali0.583
140Iran, Islamic Rep.0.583
141Chad0.575
142Syria0.568
143Pakistan0.546
144Yemen0.516

* Indicates new countries for 2017
Source: Global Gender Gap Report 2017.

 

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