Iceland has claimed the top spot of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2009 from Norway which slipped to third position behind Finland.
South Africa and Lesotho made great strides in closing their gender gaps to enter the top 10 for the first time. The Philippines lost ground for the first time in four years but remains the leading Asian country in the rankings.
The report’s Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities.
"Countries that do not fully capitalize on one-half of their human resources run the risk of undermining their competitive potential. We hope to highlight the economic incentive behind empowering women, in addition to promoting equality as a basic human right," said co-author Saadia Zahidi, Head of the Forum’s Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme. Watch the video interview with Saadia: