New Zealand is one of the best places in the world for women, based on a global report on gender equality in 2013. The country is in seventh place out of 136 nations, according to the Global Gender Gap Index 2013 report of the World Economic Forum.
The Gender Gap Index measures the difference between men and women in the areas of education, health, economy and politics. New Zealand is the best place for women in terms of educational attainment with high literacy rates and the most number of women enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
New Zealand's Ministry of Women's Affairs Jo Goodhew welcomed the results of the worldwide report but noted that men and women have an "unacceptable" gender gap in some industries. Ms Goodhew said there is unconscious bias in workplace. This bias usually gets in the way of a woman's career path and opportunities for management positions.
New Zealand ranked twelfth in political empowerment of women. The Parliament has 32 per cent of women in office, while 68 per cent were male politicians. The country ranked 15thin terms of economic participation and opportunity. The global index measured the number of women in the labour force, equality of wages and the gender balance of senior managers in the workplace.
When it comes to life expectancy, Kiwi women only outlive men by two years. A Kiwi woman's life expectancy average is at 74 years, compared to 72 years for men. New Zealand has dropped one place in the rankings based on 2012 results.
Iceland remains the best place in the world for women for five consecutive years with the narrowest gender gap. Three other Nordic countries remained consistently at the top of the rankings. The Philippines has moved up one place at fifth place.
The global report began in 2006 as a result of collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University.
Ms Goodhew also noted that men tended to ask for a wage increase four times more than women. In a recent survey among New Zealand industries, women had an annual income between $8000 and $20,000 which is less than what their male counterparts earn.
Below is the list of Top 10 countries with the narrowest gender equality gap:
Top 10 Best Places for Women 2013
7. New Zealand
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