64 Countries Have a Smaller Gender Pay Gap Than the US, Study Says

A new report ranking gender equality around the world reveals very little progress in the U.S.

64 Countries Have a Smaller Gender Pay Gap Than the US, Study Says Photo (cc) by FaceMePLS

The U.S. has made some improvement in reducing its gender gap since 2013, but it still has a long way to go.

That’s according to the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Report, which ranks 142 countries on four components: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

The U.S. ranked 20th overall, up three spots from last year. But when it comes to gender wage equality, the U.S. ranked a disappointing (and embarrassing) 65th.

According to CNN Money, there is no country in the world where a woman earns the same wage as a man for doing the same work.

The gender pay gap is shrinking, albeit at a snail’s pace. In the last year, the wage gap narrowed by one percentage point to 66 percent in the U.S., according to the report. That sounds promising, but it still means that American women get just two-thirds of what a man earns for similar work.

But there were improvements on other fronts in the U.S., which resulted in that 20th place overall. The U.S. has closed nearly 75 percent of its gender gap, the report said. According to Time:

Increases in women’s economic participation and opportunity, including participation in the labor force, earned income and political empowerment, helped boost the U.S.’s standing on the annual list. The country is ranked fourth in economic opportunity and participation out of the 142 countries surveyed.

Iceland is ranked first overall, having closed about 86 percent of its gender gap. European countries grabbed 12 of the other top 20 spots.

“Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden have closed the overall gender gap in their country to 80 percent or more, meaning women now have at least four-fifths the level of opportunity enjoyed by men,” Time said.

It is infuriating (and sad) that in 2014 we’re still talking about a gender gap in the U.S. I have a 4-year-old daughter, and I don’t want to be discussing gender wage gap issues with her 20 years from now.

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