I’m in New Zealand, so International Women’s Day was actually yesterday. However, the rest of the world being a behind us when it comes to women’s rights is nothing new. 🙂

We were the first women to receive the vote in 1893. In addition, currently we have the highest education level in comparison to our men. Unfortunately, that hasn’t yet transferred to our wages – we’re still behind there.

In fact, the average wage for women is a main reason we’re no longer number one on the Gender Inequality Index.

United Nations Gender Inequality Index 2015

These are the top twenty countries according to the 2015 Index:

(Click graph to go to source.)

It’s not easy to read, especially if you’re on a mobile device, so here’s the topline data:

1. Norway
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
4. Denmark
5. Netherlands
6. Germany
7. Ireland
8. United States
9= Canada
9= New Zealand
11. Singapore
12. Hong Kong
13. Liechtenstein
14. Sweden
15. United Kingdom
16. Iceland
17. South Korea
18. Israel
19= Luxembourg
19= Japan

There are plenty of reasons not to have much faith in the way the index is calculated though. A lot of the criteria are around human development rather than specifically women’s rights. For that reason Saudi Arabia comes in at 39th, UAE is 41st, and Bahrain is 45th.

Within the UN Gender Inequality Index, New Zealand’s women’s equality ranking is currently only 32nd, which is a disgrace. However, it’s not as embarrassing as the US – they’re 55th. Like Saudi Arabia, who’s equality ranking is 56th, their results in other areas drag them up the ranks. And yes, you read that right. With the combination of things they take into account for assessing women’s equality, Saudi Arabia is only one place behind the United States!

And although I agree that the US doesn’t do women’s rights that well, to have them only one place ahead of Saudi Arabia is patently ridiculous. UN reports have a tendency, in my opinion, to rationalize and excuse the negative impact of Islam on women. I also think politics affects results. The voting block of Muslim countries in the UN is very strong. In addition, the current head of the Human Rights committee is Saudi Arabia. (I wrote a post about this travesty some time ago.)

A report I’ve always found better than the one put out by the United Nations is the one from the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2015

Unfortunately New Zealand is going down in the World Economic Forum rankings too. In 2007 we were 5th but other countries are improving faster than we are so although our score is improving, our rank is down to 9th.

Here are the top twenty according to the World Economic Forum report for 2015:

(Click graphic to go to source.)

The World Economic Forum sees countries like Saudi Arabia differently than the United Nations. Almost all the bottom twenty countries (of 144) are Muslim-majority. The rankings of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, for example are very different. They come in at 141st, 124th, and 131st respectively.

In the World Economic Forum Report, Canada is 35th, the United States is 45th, and Australia is 46th.

Canada’s lower level in the WEF report is mainly because of lack of political empowerment. The 2016 report will likely see their rank increase markedly due to the efforts made by prime minister Trudeau to increase female representation in government.

The main reason the US comes in so low is a combination of low political empowerment and poor healthcare. Australia’s problem is lack of political empowerment and lack of women in high level jobs.

Anyway, enough of me wittering on and back to the best part of the post – Simon’s Cat.

Simon’s Cat Celebrates International Women’s Day



Over at the Simon’s Cat blog, there are tributes to several of the talented women on the Simon’s Cat team.


And Just Because I Want To Post Them

(Click pic for more information.)






From Pliny the Inbetween:




If you enjoyed reading this, please consider donating a dollar or two to help keep the site going. Thank you.