By analyzing a variety of public data, a new study has ranked each country on the quality of life for women. Though it found that, in general, women around the world are experiencing improved quality of life, many countries still have a lot of work to do. The study was a collaboration between the Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace, and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Olso, and researchers determined the rankings by looking at a total of 11 different indicators divided into three main sections: inclusion, justice, and security. Some of the aspects they considered were employment, education, cellphone access, political representation, domestic violence, gender discrimination, and something called son bias, which is a quantifiable preference for giving birth to a boy over a girl. According to the study, four Nordic countries - Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland - rank in the top five, and the only non-European countries in the top-20 are Canada (11th), New Zealand (14th), and the United States (19th). The top three Asian countries are Singapore (23rd), Japan (29th), and Korea (33rd). Most countries in the Middle East and North Africa placed especially poorly due to high levels of organized violence, discriminatory laws, and extremely low employment rates. The study was an update of a similar one conducted two years ago. Though the world is improving as a whole, employment of women is trending in the wrong direction globally. According to the study, approximately 600 million working-age women around the world say that they are unable to find paid work because they must take care of a child or an elderly relative. In the highest-ranking countries, this unpaid labor is equally shared by men and women, but in most of the world, the responsibility is the women’s alone. This is especially a problem here in Korea, where women are responsible for nearly five times more unpaid care work than men, one of the highest rates in the world relative to the country’s overall ranking. Besides low employment, Korea also ranked low due to the fact that just 17.1 percent of political positions were held by women and due to the presence of a clear son bias, with 1.07 boys born for every one girl. Also, 6.9 percent of women reported experiencing domestic violence in the past year, which was the highest rate of any country in the top 40 countries. On the positive side, Korea did do especially well in education of women, and as those women rise to power in business and government, the country is sure to rise in the rankings.
Gregory Hutchinson For The Teen Times
1. According to the study, which countries ranked in the top five?
2. Why were most countries in the Middle East and North Africa placed poorly?
3. Why did approximately 600 million working-age women around the world say that they are unable to find paid work?
1. In your opinion, where is the best place in the world to be a woman?
2. Do you think Korea is a great place to be a woman?
3. How do you think about female employment and political representation in Korea?
4. Have you ever experienced gender discrimination?