Women sit at a cafe in a shopping mall in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on June 4, 2020, after it reopened following the easing of some restrictions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. File picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia has been ranked Arab world’s best country for women, and 89th globally, according to a new report recently published by the CEOWORLD magazine.

Oman was ranked second in the Arab world and 91st globally, while Jordan came third regionally and 96th globally.

The UAE was ranked 4th in the Arab world and 100th globally. Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain followed in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th in the Arab world and 107th, 111th, 117th, 124th, and 128th globally, respectively.

Sweden was ranked the best country in the world for women, according to a new report recently published by the CEOWORLD magazine.

Denmark and the Netherlands follow up in second and third place, respectively. Norway ranks 4th. Eight out of the top ten countries for women are in Europe, including Finland (No. 6), Switzerland (No. 7), France (No. 9), and Germany (No. 10); the list also included Canada (No. 5) and New Zealand (No. 8). The 2020 rankings placed Luxembourg in 11th ahead of Austria 12th; while Italy ranked 13th and Spain 14th. Overall, among the top 20 best countries in the world, for women to live, the 15th, 16th, and 17th positions are held by Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

There is a universal pattern of discrimination and crime against women, but volume and intensity differ from country to country. Regional, racial, and socio-economic factors play a crucial role in determining the objectification of the feminine body and gender equality. Frankly, there is no country in the world that is 100% safe for women with the freedom to live equally. But, some countries are better than others when it comes to equal rights, social inclusion, and a sense of security. Based on a survey of nearly 256,700 women around the world, CEOWORLD magazine has released its annual ranking of the Best Countries for Women.

To produce the Best Countries for Women list, 156 countries were given scores across 9 attributes: gender equality, percentage of legislative seats held by women, sense of security (females 15 years and older who report feeling safe while walking alone at night), income equality, care about human rights, women empowerment, average years of education among women, women age 25 and older who are engaged in paid work, and women’s inclusion in society.

Scandinavian countries dominated the list. The latest data show that some of the worst countries for women have achieved gains, even as some of the best are lagging in crucial areas.

There is no doubt women are participating more and have relatively more liberty to rise and shine in the modern era, but the rate of progress is very slow, especially in third world countries. In simple terms, half of the world population is living with a sense of insecurity, and we cannot ever make this world a better place with the half population living in fear, the report said. If you compare the level of women’s empowerment around the world, measured in terms of security, justice, and inclusion, then you will find European countries, especially Scandinavian countries doing great. In contrast, some developed countries are still far behind in the race to create a holistic ecosystem for women to flourish with freedom, the report said.