Gender's rights around the world

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Published 2020-01-23 10:00

Being a woman is never easy. Today, even more so, women are required to show grace and elegance along with strength. Sadly, some countries are still stuck in the past and maintain the prejudices towards women. This happens in different ways like unequal pay, or an environment that discourages women from chasing their dreams.

The Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security is strongly working on enhancing the importance of inclusion of women in every area. The Institute conducts a lot of important research promoting female leadership. In collaboration with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, it launched the Global Women, Peace and Security Index, which compares the conditions of 167 countries in terms of female inclusion, justice and security.

The findings of the index show that around 60 countries have a solid level of acceptance and inclusion of women, analysing aspects like employment, education, partner violence, financial inclusion, device use and community safety. Namely, the best countries according to this combination of factors are Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. These seem to offer better gender freedom and inclusion than many other world locations and may be the best places of choice for expats who are interested in living in a society of intellect.

Norway earned its first place among the countries with best living conditions and female wellbeing. It is also strongly working towards the advancement of human rights and especially for their full practice when it comes to women and girls. The Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights is an organisation that helps in promoting these values and in taking action for encouraging women to participate in the Global Leader’s meeting, as well as in preparing an Equality Anti-Discrimination act which will bring better state organisation for complete equality within the family and the workplace. One of the elements that indicate female inclusion is the percentage of mother employment, which is the highest in Norway. This depends on many factors, such as the working hours, the option for paternity leave, the inclusion by the companies and the partner behaviour. All these factors indicate to a better environment for women in Norway compared to many European countries. However, the percentage of working moms depends on mentality. Therefore the mothers in the Mediterranean, Balkan or South American countries show the willingness to sacrifice more their career path for the child care. In contrast, the Nordic countries promote more independence among their young ones.

Switzerland is on the second place for female Justice, Security and Inclusion as a country that offers fantastic living conditions, great financial stability, and many multinational work opportunities. It is among the countries with the highest standard of living in the world. Switzerland has the lowest unemployment rate in the European continent and a very high percentage of working moms. Traditionally, however, the country was one of the last to adopt women suffrage, and even today female employees earn around 19.6% less than the males. Luckily this situation is changing. There are many organisations which strike for equal opportunities and for change of the policies.

Finland is on the top of the world list of gender equality, and with a reason. It is the first country in Europe where women gained the right to vote in 1906, and the following year 19 women became members of the parliament. This feminist spirit can be seen in many spheres. Namely, women in Finland introduce themselves by their first name, then the maiden name, and then the surname of the husband. Additionally, even old fashioned roles such as military service and priesthood are open for any gender. Finland elected the first female president Tarja Halonen in 2000 and since then became one of the most open countries for LGBT rights. While way ahead of the European countries, Finland is constantly working on improving issues such as violence against women, wage gap and discrimination. This is why it has established the International Gender Equality Prize, to promote equal rights and opportunities throughout the world.

Denmark comes forth on the Global Women, Peace and Security Index, and it is believed to be one of the best places in the world for gender and income equality, safety and development. It has the largest percentage of working mothers than any other country. More than 80% of the mothers work and get benefits like shorter and flexible working hours, affordable childcare, and good transport opportunities. Denmark was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex unions and since 2012 recognises same-sex marriages.

Iceland is the fifth country according to the Index both for the standard of living and for being one of the most female-friendly places on the planet. Interestingly enough, the gap has been so reversed that their universities have a larger percentage of female students. The country provides a mandatory maternal and paternal leave to bring a better balance better between the family members. Iceland supports largely the LGBTQIA community and offers the possibility of registration as a non-binary gender citizen.