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The ranking of the best countries for women might surprise you

SheKnows Editorial Intern Juliana Curtis is a student at the University of San Diego majoring in communications, marketing, coffee drinking, and social media stalking. Juliana spends most of her time studying or writing on a wide array o...

Which countries have the smallest gender gaps?

From SheKnows Canada
It is no secret that a significant gender gap exists today despite how much progress has been made. Although our strong efforts have produced slow improvements over time, we're just not quite where we should be in terms of equality. Some countries have made huge steps to put men and women on the same playing field — while others fall significantly behind.

More: Jen Welter joining the NFL is a huge win for women in sports

For nine years now the World Economic Forum has gathered data from over 100 countries to create a yearly Global Gender Gap Report. This report ranks the countries in categories such as health, education, earning potential and political empowerment for an overall ranking.

The women that reside in the top-ranking countries might find themselves with better access to education, higher incomes and better representation in government, to name a few.

Although the fight for a decreased gender gap seems to be successfully waging on every day, there are countries out there that are already leaps and bounds ahead of the game. These countries rate the best as far as gender equality.

  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. Denmark
  6. Nicaragua
  7. Rwanda
  8. Ireland
  9. Philippines
  10. Belgium

Canada comes in at 19th, the United States at 20th, and Australia and the United Kingdom fall at 24th and 26th, respectively.

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The rankings also provide information on each country's strengths and weaknesses. For example, Canada ranks top in educational attainment for women, but falls behind in political empowerment. Australia is leading in literacy rate, yet still has great progress to make when it comes to wage equality.

Checking out the specifics may make you proud of your country's best traits in regard to a closed gender gap. On the other hand, seeing where you fall a little lower on the list may inspire you to fight for some change to catch up to the more progressive countries at the top of the list. Regardless, the rankings provide a really good look at how women around the world are living their lives in comparison to men.

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