Scandinavian Countries Do the Most for Women

 

According to recent studies Scandinavian countries are doing more for women than any other country on Earth. In general, being a woman in northern Europe is better than elsewhere around the world.  In global rankings, Iceland leads the world in terms of gender equality. Sweden, Norway and Denmark come in next.

The United States has improved its ranking, moving up from 31st place to the 19th spot , largely because President Obama has offered women more jobs in government offices. At the bottom of the list are Yemen and Pakistan, where it is least desirable to be a woman.

In Scandinavia, equality starts at an early age. Boys and girls have the same educational opportunities. There are even more women enrolled in universities than men.

In the workforce, men and women are equally respected and they get the same pay. Especially in Sweden, the government makes it easier for women to return to work after having a baby. A complex welfare system allows them to balance work and family life. All these measures have led to rising birth rates in Scandinavian countries.

Scandinavian countries have a long history in gender equality. They were the first to give women the right to vote. This has led to more women taking an active role in politics. Today Sweden, for example, has the highest ratio of females in parliament - 44%.

Sign Showing Parental Leave in Sweden

Poster in Sweden showing that men can take leave to care for their baby

 

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Words

  • according to = as said by …
  • balance = to have the same time for …
  • birth rate = the number of babies born per 1000 people in a country
  • complex = complicated, difficult to understand
  • enrol = join, sign up, attend
  • equality = being fair, having the same rights
  • equally = the same
  • especially = above all
  • gender equality = when men and women have the same rights and are treated in the same way
  • global = worldwide
  • improve = make better
  • in terms of = in regards to, relating to
  • least desirable = here: where you would absolutely not want to be
  • measures = actions
  • opportunity = chance
  • pay = money you get for the work you do
  • ranking = position in a list
  • ratio = share, part
  • right to vote = to be able to take part in an election
  • spot = place on a list
  • studies = piece of work that is done to find out more about a special subject
  • welfare system = help that is given  to people who do not have work or are ill
  • workforce = all the people who work in a country