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The world's gender inequality

The World Economic Forum recently came out with their 5th annual Global Gender Gap Report for 2010, which, according to Time magazine (Oct 25th issues), ranks 134 countries on “a percentage-based metric that calculates how much they have closed their gender gaps in education, politics, health and economic opportunity.” The good news, according to the report’s preface:

We are at a unique turning point in history. Never before  has there been such momentum around the issue of gender  parity on the global stage. Numerous multinational com-  panies have aligned core elements of their businesses and  products to support and provide opportunities for women  in the communities in which they are active. The United  Nations has created a new entity for gender equality and  the empowerment of women. There is a strong movement  around greater investment in girls’ education in the devel-  oping world. Businesses around the world are starting to  take into account the increasing power of women con-  sumers. As women begin to make up more than half of  all university graduates in much of the developed world,  there is an increased consciousness that this talent must be given the opportunity to lead. Several countries have introduced legislation that mandates minimum requirements for women’s participation, in both business and politics.

The bad news: While the United States climbed 12 spots to number 19, it’s still not in the top 10, let alone the top 5 (notice it’s mostly men who chant “We’re #1!” about the U.S?). The Philippines, Sri Lanka and even Latvia beat us. (The top five are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and New Zealand.) Oh, and while you’ve got to be grateful and hopeful that research like this is even being done to help make a difference, let’s not forget what the fight for gender equality is up against: Watch this amazing Ted Talk by Sheryl WuDunn called “Our Century’s Greatest Injustice” about the vast oppression of women globally.

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photo by littledebbie11