Who Ranks #1 in Women’s Rights and Development?

Beautiful Toronto, Canada Skyline.

I’ve always said that if things got to crazy in America, I was moving to Canada. Actually a lot of people have said that. I’ve been to Canada many times, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it; especially Toronto.

Many of us in the US believe that Canadians have it better. That’s why we say we’re headed north in the event of a total American breakdown. The Presidential Elections here always have our minds going. All of the back and forth really takes a toll on the nation. So the thought of jumping ship around this time crosses the minds of many….

Last year the Slut Walks had Canada on headline news across the world. Young women, in scantly clad clothing marching down the streets of Montreal chanting for justice. It was beautiful! Honestly, I liked Canada all the more. To see the clear direction of the women and men (yes, there were men supporting this movement) and solid unity of one voice for women in North America, did my heart good!

North Americans, in my opinion, have become too comfortable with the way things are. We don’t rock the boat too often around here. So when these women rocked Canada, I was moved; joyful even. Women in the US especially have become complacent;  thinking that we’ve made it. The recent Presidential election is proving otherwise. Our rights are being threatened right now and we are scrambling to stop it.

There is no way that the future of our rights should be determined by a single Presidential election. We have no one to blame but ourselves; we got too comfortable.

Don’t worry, I’m not jumping ship-they can’t get rid of me that easy, 🙂 I have never run from a fight. And, unless I was in mortal danger, I don’t plan on running now. If the battle is to be won, then we have to stand and fight!

But the question still remains for me: “is Canada better off than America for women?” Or better yet, “which country has the best environment for women’s rights, empowerment and health?” I gotta know…

Well, I’m going to let YOU guys answer that for yourselves. I want to introduce you to the Gender Inequality Index, or the GII. The GII was created in lieu of the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) by the United Nations.

In an attempt to reform the GDI and GEM, the UNDP introduced the Gender Inequality Index (GII) in the 2010 Human Development Report. The new index is a composite measure which, according to the UNDP, captures the loss of achievement due to gender inequality using three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment, and labor market participation. The GII does not include income levels as a component, which was one of the most controversial components of the GDI and GEM. It also does not allow for high achievements in one dimension to compensate for low achievement in another.

You can go here: Gender Inequality Index and see how your country ranks in comparison to others. At the bottom of the page, there are links to answer questions on how the index works and what the index is for. You can also see how Canada compares to the U.S. if you like.

Even though some countries rank high on the list of countries closing the gap on gender inequality; they are not perfect. Women’s rights are still an issue all over the world. It is good though, to see how your country fairs. You may be shocked to know that your country is a little better off than many, many others.

I really encourage each of you to check out the index. It is a good tool and good information for you to know. And for additional information about women’s positions in Canada, read this interview of  Barbara Byers, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress, by Caroline Morris.

Until next time!

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