women well being canada

Canada ranked 11th best country in the world for women's well-being

Canada is one of the best places to live when it comes to the well-being and equality of women, according to a new study. 

The 2019 Women Peace and Security Index ranked Canada at number 11 out of 167 countries worldwide, though that's four spots lower than the previous index. 

Back in 2018, Canada sat at number seven. 

The index was compiled by Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security, which "seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism."

Created in partnership with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, the index ranks countries based on multiple factors, including access to bank accounts, employment, security and women’s parliamentary representation.

The number one country on the list is Norway, closely followed by Switzerland, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. 

Here are the top 12 countries in the world for women's equality and well-being.

  1. Norway
  2. Switzerland
  3. Finland
  4. Denmark
  5. Iceland
  6. Austria
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Sweden
  10. Netherlands
  11. Canada
  12. Estonia

Some of the countries at the very bottom of the list include Iraq, South Sudan, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

"Among regions, the Middle East and North Africa performs poorly overall, which is traceable largely to high levels of organized violence and discriminatory laws that disempower women, often coupled with low rates of inclusion, especially in paid employment," the report states.

Still, the index found that life for women has improved in about 60 countries worldwide.

For example, financial inclusion rose by at least 10 percentage points in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Mali, while Libya and Iraq recorded major increases in women’s cellphone use, and women in Pakistan reported feeling safer walking at night.

The report says about 2.7 billion women around the world are still legally restricted from working in the same jobs as men, and about 90 percent of countries have at least one law that discriminates against women. 

"This first update of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index provides important insights into patterns and progress on women’s well-being and empowerment around the world," said Jeni Klugman, Managing Director of the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security and lead author of the index.

"It reflects a shared vision that countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunities."

Lead photo by

Mike Benna

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