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Best and worst countries to be a working woman revealed

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, March 10, 2017 | 09:35 am
Best and worst countries to be a working woman revealed

Compared to 2005, when 60 percent of women were in the labor force, there has been very little growth, as it is now at 63 percent. (Shutterstock/File)

In honor of this year’s International Women’s Day, The Economist has published its fifth annual “glass-ceiling index”. 

The index tracks gender equality’s progress all around the world and is measured by combining data on “higher education, workforce participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs”.

Nordic countries take a clear lead, with Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland making the top four, just as they did last year. In these countries, women make up 30 to 44 percent of company boards, compared with an average of 20 percent across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, a group of primarily wealthy countries). Women there are also more likely than men to have a university degree and thanks to voluntary political-party gender quotas, are well-represented in government, at up to 48 percent, like in Iceland’s lower house.

Read also: Japan study: A third of working women were sexually harassed

South Korea, Japan and Turkey make up the final three, and are countries in which women make up about 15 percent of parliaments. In South Korea, women earn 36.7 percent less than men and only make up about 2 percent of managerial positions, contributing to its rank as last. Japan’s wage gap is nearly as bad with women earning earn 25.9 percent less than men. Still, the country offers 30 weeks of paid paternity leave, the most of all countries. 

The United States ranks at 20 and is not as consistent among the indicators. The country is number one for women in managerial positions, at 43.4 percent, but it is still one of the only countries in which both mothers and fathers do not get paid leave. 

As of right now, it seems as if progress has hit a stall in the OECD countries. Compared to 2005, when 60 percent of women were in the labor force, there has been very little growth, as it is now at 63 percent. Even the leading Nordic countries are not free from the wage gap with women in Finland earning 20 percent less than men, more than the OECD average of 15 percent less. (sul/kes)

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