This year’s International Women’s Day is about taking bold actions and making bold changes. If your personal empowering step towards change is moving to a new country to follow a career prospect, support your partner’s dream, or reimagine yourself, we suggest you pick your destination wisely. But before you embark on your journey, remember all the challenges women throughout history met, the fights they fought, and the obstacles they overcome.
New Zealand: The smallest gender pay-gap
Profound gender inequality in the workplace is still in play, and up to date, there’s no known country where women earn more money than men. According to the World Bank, between 2011 and 2014, a woman earned $76 while a man earned $100. However, New Zealand is tackling the problem of income disparity better than the rest of the world. It is reported that in 2015 women earned only 5% less than men, making New Zealand the country with the smallest pay gap. Other fairer countries according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s report are Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, and Spain.
Iceland: The most politically powerful women
Even though in the past 20 years the percentage of women in the parliament has doubled (UN), the number remains low (only 22.8%) showing that the progress of integrating women into decision-making and leadership is slow. As per the World Economic Forum’s latest The Global Gender Gap Report, a remarkable 44% of Iceland’s ministers are women. Also, in the past 50 years, women have led Iceland for 20 of these years. Women find their good position in Finland’s politics as well, where 63% of high ranking politicians are women.
Sweden: The best country for women
Nine thousand Swedish women have agreed that Sweden is a great place to be a woman (2017 Best Countries Rankings). It comes as no surprise to see Sweden on the top of the list of the best countries for women when considering the government’s efforts to promote gender equality. Gender equality policies ensure that every citizen regardless of their sex benefits from the same opportunities, rights, and obligations. Sweden’s gender equality principles are reflected in the workplace, at home, and on the streets. Harassment at work is taken seriously into account by the law, and it’s the employer's’ responsibility to prevent it from happening. Parental leave in Sweden is granted to each parent for up to three months. But the foundation of all good things is education — more than half of the higher education degrees are awarded to women.
USA: The best country for women entrepreneurs
Worldwide, science and technology remain for the time being male dominated, while women concentrate on social science, law, education, and health. However, talent and commitment are factors that often surpass the social norm — and this is when great things happen. The USA has overcome many stereotypes through the years and meets the conditions required for women entrepreneurs to be creative and succeed. Despite being a highly developed country, America has a lot of space for improvement when it comes to creating business opportunities for women. The same applies to other entrepreneurial-friendly countries towards women (Australia, Sweden, France, Germany, and Chile).