With the Nordic countries dominating the new World Economic Forum’sglobal gender gap report
Global Gender Gap Index 2009, it seems that the rest of the world will always be playing ‘second fiddle’ or ‘catch up’ as the top four spots once again go to our Nordic neighbours. I’m disappointed to note that the UK slipped two places to 15th this year but it is still streets ahead of the USA who slipped 4 places to number 31!  Shame on us.

The report’s Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities. So, who of our friends in the North won top spot and how did the rest of the world measure up?

There is a deepening and increasing inequality between men and womenItaly
in Italy. The cause of the probelm is being firmly laid at the feet of the Italian Prime Minister, Belusconi.  Equality campaigners have suggested that the continual portrail of women in the media in a demeaning and  sexualised fashion has set back their cause by at least 150 years.


 Having been momaumbrellabrought up in the UK and witnessed (albeit I was very young at the time) the women’s liberation movement and bra burning antics of young female students, I thought Britain had a gender-equal society.  It wasn’t until I went to work in Finland, about 15 years ago, that I realised how unequal British society was. It therefore came as no surprise when I heard that the top places in the Global Gender Gap Index went to Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland.  However, finding Italy in 67th position (lagging behind Chile and Azerbaijan) was quite a shock!   Why not check out where your country fits in the league table?   You may be in for a few surprises.