Tuesday 26 October 2021
Why is Iceland the World Leader in Gender Equality Index 2021?
April 3, 2021 | By - Neelam Motwani

Why is Iceland the World Leader in Gender Equality Index 2021?

It’s good news for women in Iceland! 12th year in a row, Iceland topped the list of gender equality Index 2021 listings of the World Economic Forum. The strong performance powered by women of the country successfully left a mark in Gender Equality Index 2021 gauges. The global progress has stagnated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland’s success was characterised by women’s involvement in factors like education, political leadership, health, and economic opportunities.

Gender Equality Index


Many countries are struggling to bring the gender equality index to its remarkable value, few countries are leading the race with surprising benchmarks. Let’s pen down some of them.

Top 10 Countries Under Gender Equality Index 2021

The top countries in this list are working to quantify the gender gap to thrive the society and economy of the world. Just as a man is important to accelerate global competitiveness and economic growth, fostering female talent plays a vital role to stimulate future-readiness worldwide.

If you are looking for the list of the top 10 countries in the Gender Gap Equality Index in 2021, here it is:

  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. New Zealand
  5. Sweden
  6. Namibia
  7. Rwanda
  8. Lithuania
  9. Ireland
  10. Switzerland

This year’s report illustrates that the progress in the index has stagnated, widening the gender gaps in political and education empowerment across the globe.


Gender Equality Index

What makes Iceland a global leader in gender equality?

Let’s dig deeper into Iceland for some time! What makes Iceland the global leader in this Index really? Iceland made a remarkable change in its legislation and government that pushed the gender equality Index. Have a look at the constant change that Iceland brought for their people.

  • The country approved equal inheritance rights for women and men in 1850
  • Female ballot/suffrage was introduced in the year 1915
  • In 1922, Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason was the first elected woman member of the Icelandic parliament
  • In 1957, the country elected the first female mayor in Icelandic municipality
  • In 1970, the country elected the first female Cabinet Minister
  • 24 October 1975, Icelandic women went on a nationwide strike to emphasise on the importance of women’s contribution to the economy
  • President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland, in 1980, was elected as the first female Head of State in the world
  • Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister in 2009
  • 42% of the candidates in Iceland elections in 2013 were women
  • With 77.6%, the country holds the highest rate of women’s participation in the labour market
  • Icelandic fathers got right to 3-months of paid parental leave from 2003
  • The country approved 3-year plan for the implementation of gender budgeting in 2011
  • The law was passed in 2013 that obligates companies to have minimum 40% women in their boards took effect


Gender Equality Index

Iceland & Finland Reigns

Women in Iceland are highly visible in almost every industry and managerial positions. Talking about figures, 41.9% of senior roles and 45.9% of the board members in Iceland firms are women. 

Finland is at the second position of gender equality index 2021 closing 86.1% gender gap in the country. Led by a female Prime Minister, the country has shown a tremendous increase in the number of females in power.

As women in New Zealand represents 36.9% in authority, it will take one more decade to reduce the gender gap and 136 years globally. Gender equality is a major factor that impacts global economic growth. There are many protests and changes happening globally to support the welfare of both genders. For more such updates and bulletins, keep reading AlShorts, short news in 30 seconds. 


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