Countries With the Best Gender Parity, Per the World Economic Forum

ByElizabeth J. Bohn

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  • Gender parity in education, politics, health, and the workplace is still a long way off, per the World Economic Forum.
  • Its top 10 list of countries, those with the smallest gender equality gaps, saw two new entrants this year.
  • As usual, Scandinavian and Nordic countries led the pack.

It’s unlikely that you’ll see complete gender equity in your lifetime. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), it will take 132 years for women to completely catch up to men, according to the WEF’s annual Global Gender Gap Report

And the pandemic didn’t help; it set back the clock by at least 30 years, the WEF wrote in the report, saying that before the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the timeline to global equity was 100 years. 

But things are getting better gradually, the WEF says, with the last year making up for some of the progress lost during the pandemic. Its nearly 400-page report catalogs the progress of 146 countries toward gender equity, specifically as it pertains to economic participation and opportunity, education, health and survival, and political empowerment.

Those four metrics that include things like labor force participation, literacy rates, and women’s representation in political roles were used to create an overall index showing overall gender equity in 146 countries and territories.

And in terms of those metrics, Scandinavian and Nordic countries are dominating, with the WEF’s top five remaining unchanged from last year in the overall ranking.

The above map highlights what score countries across the world received in 2022. You can also hover a place to see their Global Gender Gap Index score and rank. The scores in the map are between 0-1 with a score of 1 meaning that a country has reached gender parity. As seen in the map and in the top 10 ranking below, Iceland has the smallest gap in parity, with a score of 0.908 out of 1.

Despite some improvements, Saadia Zahidi, the WEF’s managing director, stressed that future gains are not a guarantee. 

“As leaders tackle a growing series of economic and political shocks, the risk of reversal is intensifying,” Zahidi wrote. “Not only are millions of women and girls losing out on access and opportunity at present, this halt in progress towards parity is a catastrophe for the future of our economies, societies and communities. Accelerating parity must be a core part of the public and private agenda.”

Detailed below are the countries that made the WEF’s global top 10.


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