Every year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) releases a new edition of the report “Global Gender Gap“. The study aims to rank the countries with the most gender equality in the world, and is based on four main indicators: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Access to Education, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In this way it is possible to measure the countries with the best practices for gender equality and to rank them according to the best conditions for women.
However, the latest reports have revealed a worrying fact: gender inequality has grown again for the first time in the world after a decade of progress. The WEF study pointed out that if the current pace is maintained, it will take more than a century to close the gender gap on a global scale.
However, some countries have shown that it is possible to adopt effective measures to mitigate gender inequalities and transform the local reality. Check them out and see what they have done to ensure fairer conditions of existence for women:
Iceland is unbeatable in the Global Gender Gap ranking. In the last 12 years, the country has occupied with honors the first place in the study and has demonstrated that it is entirely feasible to elaborate public policies aimed at gender equality and apply them to create a less macho environment.
In 2018, for example, the country put in place a law requiring equal pay for men and women. According to the legislation, all private companies and government agencies with more than 25 employees are required to obtain an official certification that proves equal pay policies.
Thus, employees who perform the same function, regardless of gender, are paid equally.
In the 2021 report, Finland moved up one position and secured second place in the ranking of countries with the most gender equality. The progress, according to the World Economic Forum, is due to the increased amount of women in politics, in line with the Political Empowerment pillar of the Global Gender Gap.
The number of women in ministerial positions jumped from 37.5% to 50%. In addition, the country’s Prime Minister is also a woman, as are 47% of the parliamentarians – the 9th highest female participation in the world.
Finally, the improvement on Economic Participation and Opportunity was also essential to Finland’s rise. One important area of advancement is the increased presence of women in senior and managerial positions, where women now represent 36.9% of the total.
Norway is another country that always ranks among the countries with the most gender equality in the world. Although it has dropped one position, it is still the third most gender-equal country in the world.
Among Norway’s key areas of advancement is Political Empowerment, which is up 4 percentage points from the previous report. This improvement is mainly due to the fact that the country had a woman as head of state in the period and also an increase in the participation of women in parliament – the number rose from 40.8% to 44.4%.
It is worth noting that Norway has already managed to close 100% of the gaps in the Access to Education indicator, and has also closed 96.4% of the gender gaps in Health and Survival.
The fourth position in the Global Gender Gap ranking went to New Zealand. One of the main reasons why the country is considered one of the most gender-equal countries in the world is that of the last 50 years, 14.1 have had a woman as head of state.
Political Empowerment is a very relevant factor for the World Economic Forum ranking, after all, the people who have the power to create more egalitarian laws and norms that decrease gender inequalities are the ones in power. Therefore, it is extremely important that there is diversity within politics.
Another index that advanced in New Zealand was women’s participation in the labor market and the narrowing of the wage and income gap between men and women – both in the Economic Participation and Opportunity indicator.
Finally, we have Sweden as the 5th best country in the ranking of countries with more gender equality in the world. What brought the Nordic country to this position was the improvement in the Economic Participation and Opportunity index, which rose two points from the last report.
The country had one of the lowest estimated income gaps between genders in the world, and increased the number of women in leadership positions and women on company boards.
Furthermore, a very important piece of information is that Sweden is one of the countries that offers the most gender equality in childcare. 78% of annual gross wages are covered during maternity leave and public investment in childcare is 1.6% of GDP (second only to Finland).
Brazil, unfortunately, plummeted in the latest Gender Equality Ranking released by the World Economic Forum. The country moved from the 67th position it occupied in 2006 to 93rd place in 2021.