London, Oct 25: The gap between men and women has narrowed in the past year in most countries, thereby opening up more opportunities to the fairer sex, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.
The forum rated Iceland, fifth time winner in a row, Finland and Norway as the top countries in the list of 136 nations, where the gender gap is experienced the lease, based on political participation, economic equality and rights like education and health.
According to the BBC, Middle East and North Africa were the only regions not to improve in the past year, with Yemen at the bottom.
Report founder and co-author Saadia Zahidi said that since the WEF began compiling the index in 2006, 80 percent of countries had made progress, adding that 20 percent of countries have made no progress or are falling behind.
She said that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia had invested in education and health, but had not integrated women into the economy.
The report found Sweden at the top fourth position closing over 80 percent of the gender gap, and the highest-ranked Asian nation was the Philippines at fifth position, praised for its success in health, education and economic participation.
Zahidi said that the idea of the report was not to remind poor countries that they had fewer opportunities than rich countries, but to give them a tool to improve the situation.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, the top ten countries include:
7. New Zealand
10. Nicaragua (ANI)