Best, Worst Places to Be Female

Iceland, Rwanda, and Norway top the Independent's 'best' list

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2012 2:48 PM CST

(Newser) – With International Women's Day coming up Thursday, should we weep or rejoice? While British women will likely face 14 more elections before women equal men in Parliament, women in Qatar are far more likely to attend university than men. That said, the Independent picked its best and worse nations for women to live:

  1. Overall. Best: Iceland, where equality is high in health, education, politics, and employment. Worst: Yemen. Most dangerous: Afghanistan.

  1. Female Politician. Best: Rwanda. Only country so far with more female than male parliamentarians. Worst: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar ... and other nations with no female lawmakers at all.
  2. Mother. Best: Norway. Maternal mortality rates are low (one in 7,600) and skilled help is available at most births. Worst: Afghanistan, where mothers are 200 times less likely to die from bullets or bombs than from childbirth.
  3. Reading and Writing. Best: Lesotho, where literary rates are higher for women than men (95% for women; 83% for men). Worst: Ethiopia, where roughly one in five women can read, compared to two in five for men.
See the rest of the Independent's list—including "Best place for the right to choose" and "Best place to earn money"—here.

American pop idol Jordin Sparks (2-R) visits The Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda.
American pop idol Jordin Sparks (2-R) visits The Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda.   (Getty Images)
A woman holds ice in ... Iceland. But she looks happy doing it.
A woman holds ice in ... Iceland. But she looks happy doing it.   (Shutterstock)
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