Scandinavian countries still have the smallest gender gaps, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual gender survey, but this year they’re joined at the top by a few nations you may not expect. After Iceland, which has been No. 1 for the past half dozen years, and the other usual suspects (Finland, Norway, Sweden), you’ll find Nicaragua, Rwanda and the Philippines on the list of the top 10 countries with the most gender equality in the world.

And while you won’t find the United States on that list, it did move up three spots this year to 20th place.

BBC News:

The WEF’s annual gender survey confirmed “sweeping changes” in many countries, with 105 becoming more equal since 2005, said its author…The WEF looked at economic factors, health, education and political participation in 142 countries.

Just six nations – Sri Lanka, Mali, Croatia, Macedonia, Jordan and Tunisia – have seen their gender gap grow overall since 2005, the WEF said.

Rwanda came into the rankings for the first time and took seventh place, making it the highest-ranking African economy…Report author Saadia Zahidi said Rwanda’s success was because there are almost as many women as men at work – and in the country’s ministerial offices – rather than because of improved access to health and education services.

Nicaragua rose to become the sixth-best place for women (up from 10 last year). The Philippines remained the highest-ranking Asian state, but fell from fifth to ninth place.

Read More.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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