The Best Countries For Women

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report released annually reveals the best suitable countries for women to live on par with men.

The report examines the parity between men and women in four diff aspects- Economic participation and opportunity, Educational attainment, health and survival and political survival.

Efforts made by government through its regulations and other non-governmental organizations by increasing awareness have resulted positively, narrowing down the gender gap in various countries, as 86 of 136 countries showed improvements.

1. Nicaragua

The only Latin American nation among top ten in this list, Nicaragua is a country rich in culture and well known for its hospitality .The Nicaraguans love freedom and independence.

It is also the best place for women, they have a joint program named 'From rhetoric to reality' for promoting women's participation. Also, the gender responsive budgeting have integrated the tools and methods to develop gender perspective in the National General Budget.

The country has also formulated policies towards empowerment of women, which were fruitful placing itself in the top ten list of WEF report.

2. Switzerland

A European country, Switzerland spruced up to 9th position in this list and is aiming to reach the first position in the coming years by taking major steps to bring down the gender parity between men and women to zero.

Over the years the gap in education and health in terms of equality has come down on a large scale. Steps are being taken to neutralize economic inequality. Switzerland has had a law which aimed at establishing equality between men and women since 1981.

The Government also established Federal Office for Gender equality in 1988, which eventually banned gender discrimination across the country in 1996. However the country needs to overcome the existing wage inequality.

3. Denmark

This Scandinavian country, Denmark is one of the best place where women enjoys to the fullest. It holds the record of holding majority of girl students in post secondary education with ratio of 1.45 girls for every boy enrolled.

Denmark also adopted an innovative idea to have voluntary gender quotas in political parties since 1970 - setting an ideal model for the world nations. Denmark has the one of the highest female employment rates in Europe leaving a mark in giving equal opportunities to men and women.

A law which was formulated on the lines of EU directives prohibited any kind of gender discrimination at work place, and no differential treatment in promotions and hiring, cordial hiring and working conditions. This economy has made it possible to balance work and family with other innovative ideas.

4. New Zealand

Among the Asia/Pacific zone, the list was topped New Zealand with overall scores of 83.1. In this nation, there has been an increasing recognition for women's empowerment in recent years, indicating enormous strides made by women in society.

New Zealand comes out on the top of the index as the countries which have most equal status for women in their profession, based on the labor-force participation rate, wage gap among other things. Women out perform men in education field.

A strong statutory framework helps women to protect themselves through legal and human rights. Greater accesses to primary health care services are other amenities to women which helped in better standard of life. Being the first country to guarantee right to vote to women is keeping up to its standard.

5. Ireland

Ireland though dropped by one rank in the list still managed to make it in the top ten list. In Ireland the rights to women have improved greatly since it joined the EEC in 1973.

Ireland succeeded the target set by EU to achieve 60 percent of employment in women by 2006. Irish women's hourly incomes have crossed that of men by 2006. Female students outnumber male students in higher education.

6. Philippines

Philippines is the only Asian country that took seat in the list of WEF report. It performed better than U.S. and other developed nations in terms of gender equality.

Philippines tackled the equality issue by empowering women economical and political participation. Women here dominate in civil services and technical services and also four out of 24 senators are women. Last decade has seen an exponential rise in the number of working women. Women now have enhanced access to income and productive resources.

7. Sweden

A nation with its extensive welfare system laid down comfortable balance for citizens in work and family. Sweden didn't just work on equal distribution but also in all domains of society also ensured that knowledge of both men and women towards progress of their economy.

It is also the best place with right to choose for women. Share of professional ranks among women are increasing gradually. In public services 45 percent of seats are filled by women.

Gender mainstreaming is the strategy of Swedish government to finish its tasks within equality policy. In Sweden Minister for Gender equality is ultimately responsible for gender issues. Equality Ombudsmen is another government agency that fights gender discrimination.

8. Norway

Norway ranked 3rd closing at 84 percent of its gender gap in economic participation and opportunity index. A 2008 policy requires all the boards of listed countries to publicly hold 40 percent of each gender.

OECD survey shows that women in Norwegian countries do the least unpaid work- cleaning, cooking etc., at just over 200 minutes a day.

Norway is also rated as the best place to be a mother with lowest risk of maternal mortality with organized skilled help in almost all births -one out of 7,600.

9. Finland

Gender equality has long been the heart of values in Finland. The act on Equality for men and women and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health play key role in reducing gender bias.

Finnish women outnumber men in various government agencies. Special committees in the regional level are established to bring the gender issues to the direct notice of MSAH.

10. Iceland

Iceland meticulously topped the list since past four year making itself the most comfortable place for women in the world. It has the smallest gender gap in the world active participation in politics, employment, education, and health indicators. The country's achievement to top the list holds due respect to its heritage and culture

"Countries will need to start thinking of human capital very differently-including how they integrate women into leadership roles. This shift in mindset and practice is not a goalpost for the future, it is an imperative today," said Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chair.

The report thus suggests that globally policies to improve conditions of women are being constantly formulated by the governments overall. These countries set models to implement in the process of women empowerment.

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