Davos Notebook

Iceland tops WEF’s equal opportunity list

January 26, 2010

ICELAND/Bad timing girls!  Iceland claims the top spot in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, making it the best country in 2009 in terms of equal opportunity.

Women in Iceland play a bigger role in the labour market, hold more leadership positions, have higher education achievement and better health and survival rates than any other country.

Shame the news comes just after Iceland tumbled into its deepest recession on record, following the  collapse of all three of its banks in 2008 that left it owing $60 billion to foreign lenders. That’s $180,750 for every man, woman and child on the rocky, frozen northern Altantic outcrop. So much for women bringing kinder, gentler leadership – or were women swept into power as the clean-up crew?

If Iceland’s a tough place to be a female leader right now,  spare a thought for women in Yemen. Already at the bottom of the Gender Gap world rankings, WEF says it slipped even further down the index in 2009.

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