Paris: Nordic economies come closer than other countries to treating women as well as men in the workplace, according to the World Economic Forum.
Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland topped the rankings of 128 nations, retaining their positions of last year with scores of more than 78%, the Geneva-based organization said on Thursday. New Zealand, the Philippines, Germany, Denmark and Ireland trailed.
The sole change in the top 10 was the arrival of Spain at 10th, displacing the United Kingdom which fell from ninth to 11th. The US slipped to 31st from 23rd, losing marks because of the declining participation of women in the labour force.
Latvia and Lithuania made the largest advances in the top 20, gaining six and seven places to 13th and 14th, respectively, as women closed gaps in employment and wages. Ecuador rose the most in the overall rankings, jumping 42 positions to 44th, while Nicaragua fell the most by dropping 20 places to 90th.
Yemen, Chad, Pakistan and Nepal came at the bottom of the table. The index is based on the gender gap evident in data on economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment and health.
The World Economic Forum is funded by more than 1,000 corporations and is best known for its annual conference in the Swiss ski-resort of Davos. It last week published a league table of competitiveness which ranked the US as the world’s most competitive economy for a fourth year.