Top 20 least sexist countries in the world

Have you ever wondered which countries are the least sexist in the world?

The Global Gender Gap report calculates such a thing. The study chronicles gender disparities and progress for rights across the sexes in several countries. It essentially gauges the treatment of women using various data points including educational attainment, health, and political empowerment. The study encompasses life in all types of cultural environments and provides a glimpse into some of the most and least sexist countries on the planet. For 2011, 134 countries were studied.

Many of the top countries for equal rights and opportunities across the sexes are European. Also, two African countries make the top twenty, South Africa and landlocked Lethoso – a small country bordered entirely by South Africa. Aside from those two countries though, African nations dominate the bottom quarter with several entrants from the Middle East as well. Iceland takes top honors at number one and is followed by three of its Nordic brethren in the ensuing spots.

Have you ever experienced sexism while traveling? Check out the full report here.

20. Canada
19. United States
18. Latvia
17. Netherlands
16. Sri Lanka
15. United Kingdom
14. Belgium
13. Germany
12. South Africa
11. Spain
10. Switzerland
9. Philippines
8. Lesotho
7. Denmark
6. Ireland
5. New Zealand
4. Sweden
3. Finland
2. Norway
1. Iceland

And the seven worst countries in the study:

7. Benin
6. Saudi Arabia
5. Côte d’Ivoire
4. Mali
3. Pakistan
2. Chad
1. Yemen

The Global Gender Gap Report 2010

Flight attendants are a part of the history for work equality

When the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed this week, there were echoes of women in the past who have worked for equitable pay and fair work practices. Flight attendants have a long history of pushing for such fairness.

One of the first flight attendants, one might say, was Katharine Wright a suffragette, and the Wright brother’s sister. She was the second woman to ever fly when she accompanied Wilbur on a flight in Pau, France to show that flying was safe for everyone. If it wasn’t for her, their success may not have been as great as it was. As women cast their eye upwards, they became part of the fabric of social and economic justice.

Here’s a timeline of flight attendants breaking the glass ceiling of the sky:

1945– First labor union of flight attendants in the U.S. was formed. The Air Line Stewardess Association (ALSA) worked for pay raises, duty limits and the right to see personal records among other things.

1957– Mohawk Airlines hired the first African American stewardess. Ruth Carol Taylor was the first African American stewardess, paving the way for others. TWA was the first major airlines to hire a black stewardess after Mohawk Airlines’ action.

1960s– Fought against airlines’ policies that flight attendants retire at age 30 to 35, but without success. Made some headway with the passing of Title VII, The Civil Rights Act. One part of the act forbade discrimination in the work place based n sex. By the late 60s, airlines dropped the age discrimination policy and the policy that said flight attendants couldn’t be married.

1972– A group of flight attendants formed Stewardesses for Women’s Rights and began to protest sexist treatment of stewardesses. Airline campaigns like “Fly Me,” (National’s) were seen as deeming and the sexy images of stewardesses being pushed to sell flying were seen as a way to keep women from being treated as equal to men and affected their ability to do their job effectively. What was their main job? Assure passenger safety.

1974 – Association of Flight Attendants formed in a separate union from Transport Workers Union which was male dominated. Union began to challenge airlines policies on maternity and weight restrictions.

Also in the 1970s, continued their long battle to be seen as recognition as safety professionals. There was a continued push for flight attendants to have some sort of certification program to prove their qualifications as having specialized skills.

2003– After September 11, 2001, proof that flight attendants were indeed safety professionals was evident. Congress mandated a licensing program for flight attendants.

So, now we know why Gadling’s own Heather Poole can save our lives, and have a child, and be married, and not have to worry about losing her job as she gets older–just because she’s getting older or gains a few pounds. Not too shabby.

[Facts found in Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants, page on “Flight Attendants & Labor History.”]

Women barred from men’s dining room at private golf club

Whoa! Wait a minute. How can that be? Where have I been? I keep thinking I have more freedom of movement about the world than I actually have. Here’s one more place I can’t go.

I just read that at the Phoenix Country Club women are not allowed in the men’s grill room where the serious business deal making and dining occurs. No, the women who want find food to nosh on are pushed off into the women’s grill which is smaller and without the buffet, the bar or the lovely view of the golf course. The women’s grill has a hotplate.

There’s a bit of a fuss going on at the country club since some members want to move on into modern times where a couple can eat eggs together for breakfast, for example. Some of the men are as appalled by living in the days when women weren’t allowed in saloons–“respectable” women mind you and are having a time of it for standing up for their wives. This is true. Here’s the article that covers the details. The story involves peeing on a pecan tree as well as other juicy grammar school-like tidbits.

But before you go to the article, consider this. Several years ago, and I’m talking many–when I lived in Columbia, South Carolina during middle school, my mom took my brother and me to a roller skating rink. When we found out we had to be members in order to skate, we decided that rink wasn’t for us. Why not? Becoming members had to do with religion and skin color. We just happened to be the right religion and and the right skin color, but we didn’t like the rules. We thought the rules should change.

Since then, I think, rules have changed. But, I often live in La-La-Land where we all get along, so I can’t say if this is 100% so. *Before those of you from the south start sputtering, let me assure you I loved so much about South Carolina. Seventh grade was my Renaissance year and I was sad to move.

But, this story is about men and women and not race and religion–so perhaps, they aren’t similar. After all, there are men’s clubs and women’s clubs–and most people wouldn’t argue about that, so what’s the difference?

If the women had a grill as good as the men’s, and the business deal making happened outside the men’s grill so women could participate, I wonder if there would be as much of an issue?

Here’s what I mean. When I was in the Peace Corps, I had some friends who lived in my village who were from Pakistan. The women in the family–18 year-old twins and the mother, didn’t interact with men other than their dad/husband because he was the only family member who lived in The Gambia.

These were wonderful people who treated me extremely well. Once there were men coming for dinner. Since the dad was to have guests, I was invited to keep them company where they would eat in another room. The food was put in the dining room. While the men filled up their plates, we waited in a bedroom with the door closed.

After the men went to the living room, and the door was closed to the dining room, we got our food. Okay, sure the men at first, but there was plenty left.

But, this isn’t the same as the men’s grill either. I was told I could go visit with the men if I wanted to. I didn’t want to. Probably because I had a choice–and I was already in the best company.

As for the women who are at the Phoenix Country Club looking for some equity, I hope they have a frying pan if they want to cook up those eggs on their own.

And if any of you are heading off to a private club somewhere, check to see who can get in. It might surprise you.