Measuring Gender Equality

Via normblog, here’s a report from the World Economic Forum (the Davos crowd) on the comparative status of women.  Entitled “Women’s Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap,” the report looks at gender equality in 58 countries, comprising all 30 OECD states, and 28 emerging economies. 

The criteria for measurement:

“Five important dimensions of female empowerment and opportunity have been chosen for examination, based mainly on the findings of UNIFEM, concerning global patterns of inequality between men and women:

1. Economic participation

2.Economic opportunity

3. Political empowerment

4. Educational attainment

5. Health and well-being

The gender gap in each dimension is then quantified using two types of recent available data: a) published national statistics and data from international organizations, and b) survey data of a qualitative nature from the annual Executive Opinion Survey of the World Economic Forum.”

The rankings:


That the Scandinavians cluster on top and the Anglo-American states (Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia) follow was no surprise.  But I was struck by how high the Baltic states rank on the measure.