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New Zealand makes gender equality top 10

We were the first country to give women the vote, but how do we fare now for gender equality?

gender equality
gender equality

The best – and worst – countries for gender equality have been revealed, and the results might just surprise you.

While we might be our own worst critics when it comes to things that need improving here in New Zealand, there are some things we’re already doing better than most.

The World Economic Forum just released their Global Gender Gap Report, which ranks 145 countries in the world according to gender equality.

Taking into account economic, educational, health based and political factors, the index also looks at how well each country leverages their female talent pool.

Somewhat unsurprisingly it was the Scandinavians who came out top once more – with Iceland taking the number one spot.

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Maternity benefits helped Iceland land the top spot
Maternity benefits helped Iceland land the top spot

This is due to the country boasting an all-female political party, a parliament that is almost 50/50 male to female, and enviable maternity policies.

In Iceland, both parents receive 3 months paid leave that is non-transferable, which has led to 90% of new dads taking their paternity leave. New mothers have been able to return to work faster than ever, meaning they’re not left out of the working loop.

Norway, Finland and Sweden are hot on Iceland’s heels, with the somewhat surprising next additions of Ireland, Rwanda and the Philippines.

And us Kiwis aren’t doing too badly either, with New Zealand coming in at 10th place.

While men still earn on average $14,000 more than women, the number of women involved in professional or technical careers, and who were enrolled in tertiary education surpassed numbers of men doing the same.

It was out political empowerment that really let New Zealand down, with the ratio of women to men being just half of what we needed. Likewise women in ministerial positions was shockingly low.

Check out our stats here.