The 10 Best Countries for Women

CC BY 2.0 Swedish National Heritage Board. Swedish National Heritage Board

According to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report, the winner calls gender equality one of the "cornerstones" of the country's society.

Each year U.S. News & World Report, along with Y&R;’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, releases a ranking of the best countries to live in. Using a long list of metrics, the survey seeks to measure peace, quiet and prosperity, among other things. This year, things were a bit different, the authors note, as the "rankings were influenced by world events, from the U.S. election to Brexit and beyond." The survey was administered after the U.S. election; for best countries overall, the U.S. slipped from 4th place last year to 7th place this year.

“Our data captured widespread global concern for the social and geopolitical changes that cast many nations into uncertainty and turmoil,” says John Gerzema, chief executive of BAV Consulting. “The new rankings reflect people’s desire to restore some sense of order by rewarding nations they perceive as championing neutrality, stability and diplomacy.”

The ranking also offers some sub-categories in addition to the overall Best Country (which was won by Switzerland, by the way). One of those is Best Country for Women, as determined by the more than 9,000 women who filled out surveys for the 2017 Best Countries. The ranking was based on highest scores for a compilation of five country attributes: "cares about human rights, gender equality, income equality, safe and progressive." These countries ranked the best.

10. New Zealand
9. Austria
8. Australia
7. Switzerland
6. Finland
5. Canada
4. Netherlands
3. Norway
2. Denmark

And number one: Sweden! Surprise, surprise.

The Swedish government calls gender equality one of the "cornerstones" of the country's society. The concept is enshrined in Sweden's education system, where nearly two-thirds of all university degrees are awarded to women, and in its parental leave policies, which give around three months of leave specifically to each parent.
Gender equality is reflected in the workplace, as well. Sweden's Discrimination Act requires that all employers must "actively pursue specific goals to promote equality between men and women," according to a Swedish government website.

Out of 80 countries, the U.S. came in 16th for women. At the sad bottom of the list, Tunisia and Bolivia.

To see the full list, visit U.S. News.