Iceland Is a Pretty Awesome Place to Live if You're a Woman; New York Still Up for Debate
According to the World Economic Forum's latest Global Gender Gap report, which rates things like economic opportunities, education, health and survival, and political empowerment between men and women, the place you really want to live as a woman is...Iceland! Or maybe Norway or Finland.
Iceland is particularly great for women because it boasts a nearly gender-balanced parliament as well as a female prime minister. Not to mention, "the extensive preschool and day-care system provided by most municipalities, a legal right for parents to return to their jobs after childbirth, and a generous parental leave system are major contributors to Iceland's ranking." And: Open-mindedness toward women wearing swan costumes and birthing eggs. Plus! An inherent ability among citizens to pronounce words like "Eyjafjallajökull."
The U.S., on the other hand, just barely made the top 20 (for the first time!), which is both a negative and a positive, we guess. At least we're improving. Though, from the looks of this Craigslist posting, New York may not be:
"Knowing a good deal" and "lack of punctuation" were not among the factors measured for male-female equality.
France, subject of yesterday's New York Times piece on how women there face the multi-pronged pressures of looking good along with raising a family and working (along with being the biggest consumers of anti-depressants) only made number 46, while Lesotho was ranked 8, up from number 43 in 2006. The bottom three, where you really don't want to live -- at 132, 133, and 134 -- were Pakistan, Chad, and Yemen.
Not mentioned in the report: Statistically there are more single men to single women in Iceland, which is really all that's important for female happiness anyway. Just ask Bjork. Or Mr. Nostrand Ave. Kidding!