Gender equality or gender-equal ill practices are important issues that affect every corner of the world. It’s something that has been discussed, debated, and fought for centuries. However, there are some countries that have gone further than most in their efforts to promote gender parity and create a more level playing field for all genders.
In this blog post, we’ll be looking at the top 10 most gender-equal countries in the world and what they have done to achieve this milestone. From economic opportunities to healthcare access, these countries are leading the way in creating an environment of equality for all citizens. Here’s a closer look at the nations that are paving the way for true gender parity.
Top 10 most gender-equal countries
Below listed are the top 10 most gender-equal countries.
Iceland is widely recognized as the most gender-equal country in the world, with women holding nearly half of the parliament seats and corporate board positions. The country was the first to elect a female president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who served from 1980 to 1996. It has also implemented policies such as mandatory gender quotas for corporate boards, pay gap reporting requirements, and generous parental leave policies to encourage male participation in caregiving.
To ensure equal pay for men and women, Iceland passed a law in 2017 requiring employers with more than 25 employees to prove they are paying their staff equally or face fines. Additionally, it has criminalized all forms of sex trafficking and exploitation of women and children.
In its culture, media products such as films have showcased complex female characters, while the music industry has seen a rise in feminist and LGBTQ+ artists. All of these efforts have shown Iceland’s strong commitment to gender equality.
Finland is widely considered to be a leader in gender equality, ranking second on the list of most gender-equal countries. Women in Finland have had the right to vote since 1906 and were among the first in the world to do so. Tarja Halonen was elected as the country’s first female president in 2000 and served until 2012 – a major milestone for gender equality.
The gender pay gap in Finland is also comparatively small, with women earning 83 cents for every euro earned by men. In terms of reducing the gender wage gap and advancing equitable participation of women in the workforce, Finland has made remarkable strides.
Did you know that women in Norway occupy 42% of parliamentary seats and 36% of managerial positions in the private sector? The country has implemented progressive policies such as paternity leave and quotas for female board members. This results in only a small pay gap between men and women.
Norway’s cabinet by Prime Minister Erna Solberg stands as the first in the world to have an equal number of male and female ministers. Female labor force participation is also high, with 75% of women aged 15-74 in employment.
Gender equality is further guaranteed by law as of equal value for men and must be paid equally. Furthermore, the public sector demonstrates a particularly high level of gender balance, with 70% of healthcare and education employees being female.
4. New Zealand
In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote. Not just this, women make up 47% of the nation’s parliamentary seats. Currently, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the second leader in the world to give birth while in office and the country’s youngest female leader ever.
The gender pay gap in New Zealand is also lower than the OECD average at 9.3%, making it a leader in workplace equality. With policies such as paid parental leave and flexible work arrangements, New Zealand has made great strides in promoting equal rights for all its citizens.
Did you know Sweden was the first country to introduce paid parental leave? The leave guarantees 480 days per child, with 90 days reserved for each parent. Not just this, women make up nearly half of the parliamentary seats, and there are laws in place to ensure that women occupy managerial positions in private companies.
Females in Sweden have a high labor force participation rate. The gender pay gap stands at around 10-12%.
Rwanda has achieved remarkable success in promoting gender equality, with women making up 61% of the nation’s parliament, representing one of the highest proportions in the world. Women are legally entitled to own and inherit property, and female workers earn nearly as much as their male counterparts in formal sectors.
The government is heavily invested in advancing gender equality. Policy initiatives such as gender quotas, and increased access to land ownership and healthcare are being implemented to further this goal. This includes free maternal healthcare and a nationwide program providing menstrual hygiene products. All of these measures have been put in place to ensure that gender is mainstreamed across all facets of society.
Nicaraguan women have made great strides in achieving equal pay, with the gender pay gap now standing at only around six percent. Laws protecting women from gender-based violence have been put in place. Government initiatives such as quotas for public office roles and maternity/paternity leave are helping to create a more equitable society.
Women now make up almost half of the total labor force, indicating a significant shift in gender roles. Overall, Nicaragua is proving to be a leader in creating greater gender equality throughout its society.
Namibia has made significant strides toward gender equality.
Women now represent 46% of parliamentary seats, and the country has passed laws promoting equality. These include the Combating of Domestic Violence Act and the Married Persons Equality Act.
The country also boasts a National Gender Policy and Gender-Based Violence Protection Unit within its police force. Girls are now the majority in primary, secondary, and tertiary education – a sign of closing the gender gap in education. All of this suggests Namibia is on track for further progress toward true gender parity.
Women in Ireland now make up 29% of members of parliament, as well as 37% of managerial positions in the private sector. The government has implemented policies such as parental leave and flexible working arrangements to improve the status of women. It also has a National Strategy for Women and Girls in place.
Despite these developments, the gender wage gap still exists, with women generally making 14.4% less than men. Moreover, the Constitution of Ireland guarantees equality under the law for all citizens. This includes the Gender Pay Gap Information Act and the Domestic Violence Act. All of these initiatives have ensured that Ireland is leading the way in terms of gender equality. Thus, Ireland has made great strides in promoting gender equality and empowering women to take on leadership roles.
Gender equality is the law of the land in Germany; its constitution ensures equal rights for men and women under the law. To further promote gender equality, various laws have been established that target different sectors.
Girls now constitute a majority in all levels of education. This indicates notable progress towards closing educational gender gaps. These developments have earned Germany a ranking of 10th on the 2023 Gender Inequality Index. Overall, Germany is demonstrating a commitment to gender equality and making strides toward achieving it.
What do these countries have in common
To recap, gender-equal is a complex and important issue that deserves to be addressed around the world. Some countries have made great progress towards achieving true gender parity. Others still remain far behind in terms of gender equality.
The top 10 most gender-equal countries serve as shining examples for others to follow. They are a reminder that with effort, education, and dedication, any society can strive to create an equitable environment for all.