The Nordic sorority: The best places in the world to be born a woman


gender-equalityNever mind the cold dark winter months, the sun never really sets for women in Iceland and its Nordic neighbours Finland, Norway and Sweden. On Saturday, International Women’s Day, the BBC offered up a rather good map of where in the world was it best to be born a woman.

That would be Iceland (in pole position since 2009), according to the World Economic Forum’s The Global Gender Gap Report, 2013. Its snowy reaches betray the smallest gender gap, which is to say women enjoy the most equal access to education and healthcare and are most likely to be able to participate fully in the country’s political and economic life.

The new Report puts Finland, Norway and Sweden also at the top of the heap, making the Nordic sorority simply unbeatable. (The UK is in 18th place and the US is 23rd). The Philippines (5th place) is the highest-ranking Asian nation (but then no one thought it likely India or Afghanistan would vault way up.

The good news of course that the situation is improving, albeit in small ways, around the globe. T’was well said that it’s all about the difficulties of absorbing that radical notion – women are people.