Georgetown University Report Examines the Status of Women in the 50 States and Around the World

The Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. recently released the third edition of its Women, Peace and Security Index. The report examines the status of women in 170 countries encompassing more than 99 percent of the world’s population.

The report uses a series of indicators to assess the status of women including legal discrimination against women, intimate partner violence, education, employment, financial inclusion, parliamentary representation, cellphone use, and other factors.

The authors found “a slowdown in the pace of improvement in the Women, Peace, and Security Index and widening disparities across countries. The range of scores on the 2021 WPS Index is vast, with Norway at the top, scoring more than three times better than Afghanistan at the bottom. The range of scores is much wider than in 2017 when the score of the top performer was about twice that of the worst performer. This widening gap reflects rising inequality in the status of women across countries: countries at the top continue to improve while those at the bottom get worse.”

In addition to Norway, other countries in Scandanavia also rank very high. After Afghanistan, the lowest-rated countries are Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and Iraq. The United States ranks 21st among the 170 countries in the report.

This year, the index also ranked the 50 states. State performance varied greatly, with top-ranking Massachusetts scoring more than four times better than bottom-ranking Louisiana. The report found clear regional patterns in performance, with all six states in the northeast scoring among the 10 best nationally, while all 5 of the worst-performing states were in the southeast.

The full, 110-page report can be downloaded by clicking here.


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