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A New Report Shows That The Gender Gap Has Gotten Wider In The US


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The World Economic Forum just released its annual Global Gender Gap Report 2012, and it does not look good for the United States, who took home the 22nd spot.

The report, which first began back in 2006, tracks 136 countries and measures the size of a nation's gender gap with 14 indicators broken down into four key areas:

1. Economic Participation and Opportunity: Takes into account female labor force participation rates, the ratio of female-to-male earned income, the ratio of women to men among technical and professional workers, and the ratio of women to men among legislators, senior officials, and managers.

2. Educational Attainment: Measures the gap between women's and men's access to education in primary-, secondary- and tertiary-level education, and the female literacy rate as compared to the male literacy rate.

3. Health and Survival: Studies the sex ratio at birth (meant to target countries with a strong son preference), and the gap between women's and men's healthy life expectancy, as calculated by the World Health Organization.

4. Political Empowerment: Measures the gap between men and women at the highest level of political decision-making, minster-level positions, and parliamentary positions. It also includes the ratio of women to men in terms of years in executive office. (One major problem with this category is that it's missing data on the participation of women and men at local levels of government.)

The Global Gender Gap Report then gives each country a score between 0 and 1, 0 representing total inequality and 1 meaning total equality.

This year, the United States ranked 22nd of the 136 countries, with a score of .7373. And despite a lot of talk in the news about equal rights for women and female empowerment, this is the country's lowest score since 2009. Last year, the United States was ranked 17th, just beating Canada and right behind the United Kingdom with a score of .7412.

See the top 25 below, and for a full round-up, visit the World Economic Forum's website.

  1. Iceland (0.864)
  2. Finland (0.845)
  3. Norway (0.840)
  4. Sweden (0.816)
  5. Ireland (0.784)
  6. New Zealand (0.781)
  7. Denmark (0.778)
  8. Philippines (0.776)
  9. Nicaragua (0.770)
  10. Switzerland (0.767)
  11. Netherlands (0.766)
  12. Belgium (0.765)
  13. Germany (0.763)
  14. Lesotho (0.761)
  15. Latvia (0.757)
  16. South Africa (0.750)
  17. Luxembourg (0.744)
  18. United Kingdom (0.743)
  19. Cuba (0.742)
  20. Austria (0.739)
  21. Canada (0.738)
  22. United States (0.737)
  23. Mozambique (0.735)
  24. Burundi (0.734)
  25. Australia (0.729)

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