The Last Glass Ceiling Doesn’t Matter

Many people felt very disappointed that we still haven’t shattered the last glass ceiling in America. But actually, it doesn’t really matter. Whether a country has elected a female head of state has no correlation with its gender equality. Here is the data from the 2014 Gender Inequality Index[1] published by the United Nation:

  • In the UN report, United States is the 55th (higher rank = better gender equality). But you know what, among the top ten countries, four countries never had a female head of state/government: Sweden (6th), Netherlands (7th), Belgium (8th), Italy (10th).
  • In addition, there are also numerous countries that rank higher than United States had never elected a female head of state. To name a few: Singapore (13th), France (13th)[2], Spain (16th), Poland (28th), China (40th)[3].
  • In the opposite, among the countries ranked lower than United States, quite a few of them had elected female head of state/government: Thailand (76th), Peru (82nd), Jamaica (93rd), Bangladesh (111th), Pakistan (121st), India (130th), Haiti (138th).

So don’t pay too much attention to the last glass ceiling. Just continue to work on gender equality and changes will happen.


Note:
[1] 2014 Gender Inequality Index: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/gender-inequality-index-gii
[2] France never had a female President. France had one female Prime Minister for a year: Édith Cresson (1991–1992).
[3] The World Economic Forum (WEF) published a Global Gender Gap Report in 2016: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GGGR16/WEF_Global_Gender_Gap_Report_2016.pdf. The WEF report has some drastic difference than the UN report: China is only the 99th in the WEF report, way behind US (45th) and even behind India (87th), while in the UN report, US (55th) and India (130th) are behind China (40th). In my opinion, the UN report is closer to the truth. On the other hand, in both reports, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain are way ahead of US.

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