Norway ranks number one for gender equality, followed by a handful of other Scandinavian countries, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2008.
The report measures economic participation and opportunity, educational access, political empowerment and health/longevity.
The “Linköpinglivin’” blog writes that gender-equal policies do not always ensure similar attitudes in Sweden, which ranked third in the report and is generally seen as progressive.
Ireland improved its rating by one place (8th), but blogger “Conor Reidy” argues that the use of gender quotas is essentially undemocratic.
Yemen ranked last on the list, although a 10-year-old Yemenese girl recently won a “Woman of the Year” award for fighting to get a divorce from her abusive husband — possibly the first such divorce in the country.
Saudi Arabia, Chad and Pakistan also rounded out the bottom of the list.
Activists in Pakistan are currently outraged at the appointment of two “anti-women” politicians to cabinet positions. The two are accused of supporting honor killings.
The “Impudent Observer” blog writes that Benazir Bhutto – the first woman elected to head Pakistan and the victim of a 2007 assassination – would have opposed the selection.
The United States ranked 27th out of the 130 countries surveyed.
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