The road to woman’s rights and gender equality is not linear, but more importantly, it is not just one. Each country is following its own path, some with a faster pace and some stumbling along the way.
When we talk about the status of women, we must always keep in mind the geographical and cultural context we are talking about. Without forgetting the many women condemned to live in situations of oppression and denial of their dignity.
To take stock and broaden our gaze, we can rely on the Woman, Peace and Security Index, an index developed by the Georgetown Institute to monitor the social and economic well-being of women. There are 170 states analyzed in the study, representing 99 percent of the world’s population.
Inclusion, justice and security are the focus areas of the survey. Three indispensable factors for living a dignified life in line with one’s desires and ambitions.
In this edition, too, the overall index took another step forward. However, the impact of Covid and the worsening political climate in some countries, such as Afghanistan, slowed overall growth. The increase between 2017 and 2019 was 7 percent, while between 2019 and 2021 it stopped at 3 percent.
What are the countries where a woman live best?
Scrolling through the ranking of the most “feminist” countries, it can be seen that the top 12 positions are all occupied by developed states, with minimal differences between them. At the top is Norway (with the index of .922), followed by Finland (.909), Iceland (.907) and Denmark (.903).
Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands round out the list. The first nation that does not belong to the Old Continent is Canada, in 12th place, while the United States is in 21st position.
At the bottom of the list are the countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, due to discriminatory laws and conflicts, negatively affecting especially the weaker segments of the population.
The example is definitely Afghanistan (.278), which saw its overall index worsen by 28 percent compared to 2017. A decline linked to the increase in organized violence, where the rise of the Taliban is not helping to improve the situation. Recently, the Taliban administration even banned Afghan women from universities. Yemen and Syria, nations wounded by their respective civil wars, also hurt.
Countries with more gender equality
It is also important to analyze the disparities between men and women, which often result in labor, economic and cultural gaps. Helping us in this task are the many research studies conducted on the subject. Among them is the UN’s Gender Inequality Index.
Indeed, around the world, many women and girls are discriminated against in the most important areas of life: from health to education, from political representation to employment. The index, in particular, considers:
- maternal mortality;
- the number of pregnant adolescents:
- labor market participation.
The situation is similar with respect to the Woman, Peace and Security Index: three European countries are on the podium: Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. Also doing well are Belgium, Norway, Germany and France.
In which countries do women work best
In which countries do women work best? The best scores were in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. In all three countries, female workers can easily focus on their professional goals.
The Netherlands emerges for work-life flexibility: 48 percent of women can take a few hours to manage their families.
Sweden, on the other hand, has a very high FTE of 59 percent, compared to 67 percent for men.