Gender inequality brings a lot of consequences not only for women, who are still discriminated in many parts of the world, but it also comes with “high development cost”, as a new report puts it. Measuring the discrimination against women across 160 countries, researchers identify the countries offering the best and the worst conditions for a woman.
The OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) looks at various social norms, laws and practices such as the age at which girls marry in different countries. Researchers measure the levels of discrimination against women and girls by analyzing social institutions’ practices, which can often restrict their access to justice, education, rights, and empowerment opportunities. Gender gaps still exist in crucial development areas, according to the index, such as education, employment and health. This hinders the progress towards positive social transformation that promotes equal rights, benefitting both men and women.
The best countries for women in 2014: Belgium, France, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia, Argentina, Italy, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Czech Republic.
The results of the analysis show that the best country for women today is Belgium, followed by France, Slovenia, Spain and Serbia. The results are more or less surprising, but we should note that the researchers could not gather sufficient data for certain countries, so some profiles aren’t complete. However, they notice a positive shift, with results improving in many places. The rate of early marriage in Malawi fell from 36% in 2010 to 26% in 2014. Another example is that 63% of parliamentary representatives in Rwanda are now women. But the progress in Sub-Saharan Africa is insignificant – this is the region with the highest levels of discrimination against girls and women right now.
The worst countries for women in 2014: Yemen, Sudan, Gambia, Mali, Chad, Somalia, Zambia, Niger, Egypt, Congo.