Traditionally, women have been treated as secondary citizens in most societies. Thankfully, industrialization bought a dramatic change in these circumstances in many parts of the country. Sadly, though, a large section of the world is still impervious to this necessary change.
While Yemen, Syria, Chad and Jordan being some of the worst countries in the world when it comes to gender disparity, with low educational, political and economic opportunities for women; there are nations around the world that are making serious progress in achieving equality between the sexes. Here are the *top 5 countries for women in the world that have shown promising improvement over the last few decades.
Iceland has the lowest Gender gap and is one of the top 10 countries to have its legislators, senior officials and managers female-to-male ratio increase over the last nine years. Additionally, women’s safety is not a concern in Ireland. The country has a low crime rate and because it is a popular tourist destination, the place is safe for solo-women travelers as well. The country also has the lowest income inequality in the world.
Being the second country in the world to have given women their due right to vote, Finland has only climbed up in its equality efforts over the years. Since the 2011 parliamentary election, women’s representation in the government stands at 42,5%- higher than most countries in the world and in 2007, Matti Vanhanen’s cabinet, for the first time, had more women than. The Finnish law gives working women in the country equal rights as men, and these regulations are mostly abided by.
Norway historically had a long and complicated feminist movement which eventually gave women in the country reproductive rights and better workplace security during pregnancy. Following 2008, the boards of all publicly listed companies in Norway have been required to have 40% employees of each gender. Relatively safe for women, domestic violence is still a pressing issue in the country.
Sweden has among the highest percentages of women in parliament, and political empowerment of females in the country is one of its best assets. Despite this, the country faces a huge hurdle in the form of women’s safety. The conditions aren’t as bad as some of the above mentioned African and Asian countries but it poses a big problem, nonetheless. On the economic front, women enjoy rights similar to men. Incentives like publicly financed day care for children and sex neutral parental leave have further promoted the cause.
Denmark is the only country in the world where, on average, women earn more than men, along with women making up the majority of students in post-secondary education. Despite the absence of quotas, female political participation is above-average in the country and in 1924; Denmark became the second country in the world to have a female minister. With a separate Ministry and Department for Gender Equality, the country continues to take serious efforts in improving the gender-gap.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Huffington Post]
*According to the 2014 Global Gender Gap Report