Every Night Is Ladies’ Night In Reykjavik

The World Economic Forum has once again named Iceland the most equal country for women, while the US has slipped in the rankings to #23 (pdf). Catherine A. Traywick tells economists to take note:

The notion that gender equality drives development (rather than the other way round) has been so widely celebrated in recent years that it begins to seem trite. But as the newly released 2013 Global Gender Gap Index – which measures gender parity in 136 countries – reminds us, gender equity isn’t simply a matter of equal rights. It’s a matter of efficiency. …

Take the Philippines. It ranks #5 on the Global Gender Gap Index, higher than any other Asian nation. It’s the only country in Asia that has fully closed the education gender gap, and its labor force boasts growing ranks of women workers, especially professionals and managers. Not surprisingly, the Philippines is now the fastest growing economy in Asia, having recently edged out China (#69 on the index).