August 25 2015
One News Now
A women's organization says recently published global rankings on gender equality shouldn't be ignored, but cautions not to put much credibility in them.
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According to the World Economic Forum report, the United States ranks 62nd globally when it comes to the "gender gap" in health and survival. Meanwhile, the U.S. ranks 54th globally when it comes to the gender gap in political empowerment.
Charlotte Hays, director of cultural programs at the Independent Women's Forum, takes exception to the study. She points out that "political empowerment" was one of areas examined.
"It takes into consideration things like, Have we ever had a woman president?," she cites. "So [the implication is that] by electing Hillary Clinton we can probably change that number and get a better rating – but I would frankly not feel more empowered if she were president."
Hays adds that it also measures ideological factors, such as the prevalence and use of contraception, which she says is high for the United States.
"It also measures mandatory paid vacations," she continues. "Now, most people who are employed in the U.S. get paid vacations, but since it's not mandatory and government-mandated, in this study it's a minus for us.
"So I would say that ... these figures really don't mean as much as they should. We shouldn't ignore them, but they don't mean as much as they say. For example, Iceland ranks high because it's had a female executive. Do you really want to move to Iceland, ladies?"
According to U.S. Census Bureau, women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population.
Wednesday, August 26 is Women's Equality Day in the United States. It commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.