World's 10 Best Countries For Women

The role of women in society has historically presented them with numerous hurdles; from the right to education, working outside the home, and of course, universal suffrage, women worldwide have long struggled for equality. Today significant strides have been made in bridging the gap with men. An increasing number of females occupy the workforce, are highly educated, and comprise high-ranking positions of power. This article looks at the countries best for women according to data (WPS Index) from the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. The WPS Index used inclusion, justice, and security as the three basic dimensions of women's well-being that were quantified and measured using 11 indicators to create a score for each nation. Countries scoring higher perform better at ensuing the well-being of women.

1. Norway - 0.922

women in Norway football team
Norway women's national football team celebrate a goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup match between South Korea and Norway. Editorial credit: Mikolaj Barbanell / Shutterstock.com

Based on the rankings of 170 nations, Norway holds the distinction of being the best place to live as a woman, according to Georgetown’s data. With an average of 13 years of schooling, females in Norway are amongst the most educated in the world, and 58% of all women have stable employment. In addition, around 45% of all parliamentary seats are held by women, who have also occupied the post of Prime Minister. Most recently, Erna Solberg served as the head of government until 2021. 

2. Finland - 0.909

women in finland
Female commuters in Helsinki, Finland, on their way to work or college. Editorial credit: astudio / Shutterstock.com

Finland comes in a close second to Norway as one of the ideal places to live and work as a woman. On average Finnish women complete 12.9 years of schooling, while 52.7% are actively employed. In the political arena, women make up 46% of Parliament’s seats, and the nation’s current Prime Minister is Sanna Marin, who, at the age of 34, became the youngest head of government in Finnish history. 

3. Iceland - 0.907

Iceland women
Iceland is one of the safest countries for female solo travelers.

Women in Iceland complete an average of 12.6 years of schooling, while around 88% of working-age women are members of the active workforce. With some of the highest usage of cell phones in the world, 99.6% of Icelandic women use cellular devices. Over 40% of the members of Parliament are women. In 1980, Iceland became the first country in the world to elect a female president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. The current Prime Minister is also a woman, Katrin Jakobsdottir, who has been serving since 2017. 

4. Denmark - 0.903

Women in Denmark
Male and female riders on Icelandic horses being trained on arena front of the Christiansborg palace in Copenhagen, Denmark. Editorial credit: Anna50 / Shutterstock.com

Like its fellow Scandinavian countries, Denmark ranks very highly for its quality of life, including that of women. With nearly 100% access to cell phones and internet usage, Danish women complete, on average, 13.1 years of education. In addition, 54% of all eligible working women have active employment, meaning improvement in female inclusion and opportunities can still be made. In the political realm, just under 40% of Denmark’s Parliamentary seats are held by women, while the current Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, is also a female. 

5. Luxembourg - 0.899

A female officer of Luxembourg Army giving commands on National day parade. Editorial credit: Ilona Lablaika / Shutterstock.com

The tiny microstate of Luxembourg rounds out the top five best countries for women, according to Georgetown Institute’s data. Though it has a population of only 645,397 inhabitants, women enjoy a comfortable and fruitful lifestyle here. With an average of 12 years of schooling and an employment rate of 54.9%, the women of Luxembourg are actively involved in society. Meanwhile, 31.7% of Luxembourg’s Parliamentary seats are held by women, an increase of three points from 2017. In addition, 85.6% of women in the country report feeling safe in their communities. 

6. Switzerland - 0.898

Women in Switzerland
Women in Zurich, Switzerland, advoctating for gender equality. Editorial credit: elizabethdalessandro / Shutterstock.com

One of the world’s most highly developed nations, Switzerland offers its residents some of the highest quality of life on the entire globe. For Swiss women, this means access to quality education, work opportunities, and financial stability. Indeed on average Swiss women attain at least 12.7 years of schooling, while just under 60% are actively employed. In addition, 98.9% report being financially included in decision-making, while women hold 39% of all parliamentary seats, an increase of 10% since 2017. 

7. Sweden - 0.895

Sweden women
Women at a restaurant in Visby, Sweden, having a good time. Editorial credit: Nigel Jarvis / Shutterstock.com

The last of the Scandinavian nations to appear in the top ten best places for women, Sweden’s females enjoy a very high quality of life. Some 57.3% of all Swedish women are actively employed, while on average, they receive a minimum of 12.7 years of education. Representing roughly 47% of all seats in the Swedish Parliament, 68.9% of women also report feeling safe in their respective communities. 

8. Austria - 0.891

aUSTRIA WOMEN
A mother and daughter enjoying skiing in the Zillertal Arena, Austria.

Austrian women enjoy many opportunities for social progression and financial growth and are included in 98.4% of all financial decisions. Occupying 51.7% of the active workforce and receiving an average of 12.2 years of schooling, the women of Austria also fill approximately 40% of parliamentary seats, up ten points from 2017. In addition, 84% of women report feeling safe in their homes and communities. 

9. United Kingdom - 0.888

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May during an official meeting with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at 10 Downing Street in London
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, during an official meeting at 10 Downing Street in London. Editorial credit: Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com

Including the nations of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the UK offers its women an average of 13.2 years of schooling. Meanwhile, some 56.3% are actively employed and are included in 96.1% of all financial decisions. In the political sphere, 30.6% are represented in Parliament, with three females having occupied the post of Prime Minister as recently as 2022. Furthermore, nearly 78% report feeling very safe in their communities and homes across Britain. 

10. The Netherlands - 0.885

Netherlands women
A group of women race cycling through Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Editorial credit: Lea Rae / Shutterstock.com

Rounding out the top ten best countries for women is the Netherlands, where 54.8% make up part of the active workforce. In addition to the 12.1 average years of schooling, Dutch women also constitute 99.8% of financial inclusion. Representing 35% of all seats in the government, 74.4% of the surveyed women in the Netherlands report feeling safe in their communities, with just under 95% having access to a cellular device.

While women have long struggled for equal representation and opportunities in male-dominated societies around the globe, many nations in the world now do indeed offer the female sex the rights and enjoyments long excluded from them. Based on data from the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, the ten countries on this list give a snapshot into the places where women enjoy the highest quality of life and access to the amenities of modern society. From thriving workforces to educated populaces, the women of these nations do indeed show the power of womanhood.  

Top 25 Best Countries For Women

Rank Country WPS Index Score
1 Norway 0.922
2 Finland 0.909
3 Iceland 0.907
4 Denmark 0.903
5 Luxembourg 0.899
6 Switzerland 0.898
7 Sweden 0.895
8 Austria 0.891
9 United Kingdom 0.888
10 The Netherlands 0.885
11 Germany 0.880
12 Canada 0.879
13 New Zealand 0.873
14 Spain 0.872
15 France 0.870
15 Singapore 0.870
15 Slovenia 0.870
18 Portugal 0.868
19 Ireland 0.867
20 Estonia 0.863
21 United States 0.861
22 Belgium 0.859
23 Latvia 0.858
24 Australia 0.856
24 United Arab Emirates 0.856
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