Nordic Countries Lead in Promoting Gender Equality
In its recently released Global Gender Index Study, the World Economic Forum ranked Nordic countries -Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden - the highest for gender equality. The index evaluates the countries based on such factors as women's access to education, the presence of women in politics, equal employment opportunities and salaries, and health, reported Bloomberg.
Of the 134 countries studied, 59 percent narrowed the equality gap between men and women, according to Bloomberg. The US's rank has improved considerably over the past year, mostly due to the greater presence of women in the Obama administration and the reduction of wage differences, the New York Times reports.
The head of the Forum's Women Leaders and Gender Parity program, Saadia Zahidi told CNN, "it's very encouraging that more countries are becoming aware of why it's important to reduce the gender gap and are starting to explore policies that may be needed." She also noted that gender equality fosters national economic growth and prosperity.
Gender inequality is greatest in Yemen, Chad, and Pakistan, according to the New York Times. The study also found that France faced a decrease in gender equality, due to the decline in the numbers of women holding government leadership positions.
Media Resources: Bloomberg 10/12/2010; New York Times 10/12/2010
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .