The United States ranked 31st out of 128 countries in this year's just-released Global Gender Gap Reportconducted by the World Economic Forum. The ranking reflected an overall drop of six places from last year's report.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2007 measured the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women, as explained in a press release announcing the report's results:
- Economic participation and opportunity --outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
- Educational attainment --outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
- Political empowerment --outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
- Health and survival --outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio
Four Nordic countries topped the Report's Global Gender Gap Index--Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. By way of comparison to the United States, Sweden's "score"--or its percentage of the gender gap that has been closed--was 81.5%, while the United States' score was 70.0%.
The rest of the top ten countries on the Index were as follows: (5) New Zealand, (6) the Philippines, (7) Germany, (8) Denmark, (9) Ireland, and (10) Spain/United Kingdom (tie). As a point of reference, the score for Spain and the United Kingdom was 74.4%
The performance of the United States was "mixed over the last year its scores on political empowerment improved but this was offset by a bigger gap on economic participation," according to the report.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.