Iceland Tops Gender Gap Index Skip to content

Iceland Tops Gender Gap Index

Iceland places first in the World Economic Forum’s 2009 Gender Gap Index published yesterday. Norway, which ranked highest last year, was knocked down to third place and Finland ranks second. Sweden places third.

From the 2009 Gay Pride Festival in Reykjavík. Photo by Candy Caldwell.

The index ranks the gender gap in 134 countries and is intended to measure how nations share natural resources and opportunities between men and women, reports.

The reason for Iceland moving up on the list is increased education of women and increased participation in politics. An important factor is that the percentage of women MPs increased from 33 percent to 43 percent during the period examined for the index.

A statement from Innovation Center Iceland points out that although Iceland is leading in empowering women in politics the wage difference between men and women in similar jobs is still high and Iceland ranks 50th on the list in that regard and 46th in terms of the percentage of women among high-ranking officials and executives.

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