The best and worst places in the world to be a woman: U.S. barely cracks the Top10
The Daily Beast has released a report entitled "Where Women Are Winning," showcasing countries where females receive the most fair treatment under the law, the most political and economic power and the best access to education and health care.
The United States just barely made it into the top 10 at No. 8.
It looks like we could take a few pointers from Nordic countries: Iceland (No. 1) has a government agency dedicated to gender equality and it has closed 83 percent of the gender gap according to the World Economic Forum. Sweden (No. 2) offers new parents 16 months of paid maternity/paternity leave. Denmark (No. 4) spends almost three percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on government-funded child care.
The bottom 20 countries on the list are mostly clustered in Africa and the Middle East. The Republic of Chad, also known as the "Dead Heart of Africa," ranked very last at No. 165, behind Afghanistan, which has supposedly made great gains since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Other countries that are bad for women include Pakistan, Sudan, Cameroon and Saudi Arabia.
The report itself reveals many interesting points about the status of women — for instance, how Rwanda has made significant improvements in gender equality since the country's new government came into power in 2003, and how this lesson might be applied to other countries in the wake of the Arab Spring.
But the list and the accompanying interactive map leave something to be desired. The data seems vague, possibly incomplete. There is no way to access the rank of the 125 countries that fall somewhere in the middle between the best and the worst. Where is Mexico? Where is India?