Sweden voted the best country in the world for women

Photo: Art Kowalsky / Alamy Stock Photo (courtesy of vogue online)
Photo: Art Kowalsky / Alamy Stock Photo (courtesy of vogue online)

Ladies, does the current, frantic news cycle have you considering leaving the United States? Are you desperate to clear your head somewhere far, far away for the next four years? Well, you might want to take a look at Sweden, which was just voted as the best country for women in 2017.

This morning, the list of annual Best Countries rankings (done in partnership by Y&R’s BAV Consulting, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania) was released, and Switzerland grabbed the coveted number one spot as the best country in the world. Meanwhile the United States’s ranking overall fell from number four to number seven

Sweden was ranked number one in a variety of categories, including the best country for women, the best place to raise kids, and the best country for green living.

It’s really no surprise the Scandinavian country is considered a haven for women. After all, it offers pregnant women free or subsidized prenatal care and has one of the most generous paid parental leave polices, for both men and women, in the world: Parents get 480 days of paid leave, split between the two partners. The government even gives out a monthly allowance per child to help cover child-rearing costs until their 16th birthday.

In terms of education, Sweden also promotes gender equality early on — thanks in part to its multiple gender-neutral day-care centres, which deemphasize gendered differences between boys and girls—  and has one of the higher rates of college-educated women, with almost two-thirds of college diplomas going to female students.

In the political sphere, half of the country’s ministers are women, while in 2014, 43.6 percent of parliament positions were filled by female representatives. And while there is a gender pay gap in the country — a Swedish woman only makes roughly 87 percent of a man’s monthly salary —the difference is still smaller than the enduring pay gap in the United States (around 79 cents on the dollar).

Denmark was voted the second best country in the world for women, followed by Norway, Netherlands, and Canada. The United States was ranked number 16.

  • Courtesy of The Vogue Online Edition