Global Gender Gap Study Ranks US 23rd in Gender Equality

A new study from the World Economic Forum takes a closer look at equality between genders. Overall, the US came in at No. 23, failing to make even the top 20 of most gender-equal countries.

First issued in 2006, The Global Gender Gap Report looks at gender equality across multiple areas around the world. The report takes a closer look at this gap using political, education and health-based criteria, and compares that data across nations, allowing for easy comparison over different nations and income groups, as well as over time.

The report measures gender inequality by taking a closer look at available resources and opportunities in each country studied. This allows the authors to look only at the issue of gender gap without concerning themselves with each country's level of development.

Doing so allows for a more equal playing field across the board. Richer countries have more educational and health opportunities for both genders which would give them an unfair advantage over developing countries otherwise. The study lowers a country's score solely based on the size of the gender gap.

The study is meant to show people across the world the opportunities that come available from creating an equal opportunity space by reducing gender inequality.

One section of the study focused on the educational gap between men and women in elementary, high school, and through the upper educational years. Literacy rates show each country's ability to educate the genders equally.

The state which came in with the highest education gap in favor of women was Mississippi, where 25% more women hold a bachelor's degree than men. North Dakota took the second highest spot, and Kentucky came in third.

Mississippi also ranked high on the life expectancy gap, where women live 20% longer than men on average.

These two rankings allowed the state to take the No. 1 spot in the survey for the US in education and health. Overall, the state ranked 35 in the country due to its lower scores in workplace environment and political empowerment, where Mississippi has one of the largest pay gaps between genders in the country.

The states with the highest educational attainment gap were Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah.

The study release was set to coincide with Women's Equality Day.

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