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The Gender Gap - Highest and Lowest Rated Countries, 2014

Updated on December 31, 2014

The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index

According to its website, the World Economic Forum is an independent international organization dedicated to bringing positive change to the state of the world. It seeks to interact with in the business, political, and academic arenas in order to influence the shape of global, regional and corporate agendas.

The World Economic Forum began in 1971 and produces a variety of reports including The Global Gender Gap Index. In this report, WEF rates the world’s countries in terms of gender inequality issues. According to experts at CountryWatch, the Global Gender Gap Index assesses the gender inequality gap in four areas:

1. Economic participation and opportunity (salaries and high skilled employment participation levels)
2. Access to education opportunities (access to basic and higher level education)
3. Sufferage and access to political arenas (representation in decision-making structures)
4. Health issues and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio)

World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index - Highest and Lowest Rated Countries, 2014

As of the latest report in 2014, the 20 highest ranking countries in World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index ranked as follows:

  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. Denmark
  6. Nicaragua
  7. Ireland
  8. Rwanda
  9. Philippines
  10. Belgium
  11. Switzerland
  12. Germany
  13. New Zealand
  14. Netherlands
  15. Latvia
  16. France
  17. Burundi
  18. South Africa
  19. Canada
  20. United States

The following countries ranked lowest in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index:

  1. Yemen
  2. Pakistan
  3. Chad
  4. Syria
  5. Mali
  6. Iran
  7. Cote d' Ivoire
  8. Lebanon
  9. Jordan
  10. Morocco
  11. Guinea
  12. Mauritania
  13. Saudi Arabia
  14. Egypt
  15. Oman
  16. Ethiopia
  17. Algeria
  18. Turkey
  19. Bahrain
  20. Tunisia

The United Nations' Gender Inequality Index

The United Nations puts out a more comprehensive measure that takes into account nine criteria, including:

  • Gender inequality index value (as of 2013)
  • Gender inequality index rank (as of 2013)
  • Maternal mortality ratio (as of 2010)
  • Adolescent birth rate
  • Share of seats in parliament
  • Population with at least some secondary education (age 25 +, female, 2005-2012)
  • Population with at least some secondary education (age 25 +, male, 2005-2012)
  • Labor force participation rate (15+, female, 2012)
  • Labor force participation rate (15+, male, 2012)


The UN cites the following definitions for the given criteria:

Gender Inequality Index:

The Gender Inequality Index is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievement between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market.

Maternal mortality ratio:

The maternal mortality ratio refers to the number of deaths due to pregnancy-related causes per 100,000 live births.

Adolescent birth rate:

Number of births to women ages 15–19 per 1,000 women ages 15–19.

Share of seats in national parliament:

This category refers to the proportion of seats held by women in a lower/ single house or /and an upper house/ senate expressed as percentage of total seats. For countries with bicameral legislative systems, the share of seats is calculated based on both houses.

Population with at least some secondary education:

This category refers to the percentage of the population ages 25 and older who have reached (but not necessarily completed) a secondary level of education.

Labor force participation rate:

Refers to the portion of a country’s working-age population (ages 15 and older) that engages in the labor market, either by working or actively looking for work, expressed as a percentage of the working-age population.

The United Nations' Gender Inequality Index, Highest and Lowest Rated Countries, 2014

The 20 highest rated countries in the UN's Gender Inequality Index included:

  1. Norway
  2. Australia
  3. Switzerland
  4. Netherlands
  5. United States
  6. Germany
  7. New Zealand
  8. Canada
  9. Singapore
  10. Denmark
  11. Ireland
  12. Sweden
  13. Iceland
  14. United Kingdom
  15. Hong Kong, China
  16. South Korea
  17. Japan
  18. Liechtenstein
  19. Israel
  20. France

The 20 lowest rated countries in the UN's Gender Inequality Index included:

  1. Niger
  2. Congo, Democratic Republic
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Chad
  5. Sierra Leone
  6. Eritrea
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Burundi
  9. Guinea
  10. Mozambique
  11. Guinea-Bissau
  12. Mali
  13. Liberia
  14. Malawi
  15. Ethiopia
  16. Gambia
  17. Côte d'Ivoire
  18. Djibouti
  19. Afghanistan
  20. Haiti


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    • cfin profile image

      cfin 5 years ago from The World we live in

      Indeed it is! Without gender equality, we are no more than beasts. Hopefully everyone will give this hub a look :)

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 5 years ago from Corona, California

      Thank you cfin for your feedback. Gender equalityi terms of respect and opportunity is an important issue.

    • cfin profile image

      cfin 5 years ago from The World we live in

      Great article. Worth a read. Thanks.