Women's Liveability Index 2019

 

At Nestpick, we’ve seen first-hand the steady increase of women moving abroad for work, life and education opportunities. As a company, we’ve always been fascinated with what makes certain cities or countries better for different demographics. Given the ongoing struggle worldwide for gender equality, we thought it would be interesting to use data and statistics to understand which countries offer the best living conditions for women. Analysing 100 countries worldwide, the Women’s Liveability Index brings attention to those nations offering the best living standards for women.

To conduct the study, we first selected 100 countries around the globe which provide sufficient data and polling resources in order to gain a real understanding of women’s liveability in each place. Data-driven research such as this needs to take into account the lack of reporting in many countries, therefore the final list of countries only includes nations where we felt the data could be confirmed by multiple sources, as outlined in the methodology at the bottom of the study. We then compiled a list of factors that are critical to a woman’s wellbeing, as well as those which are important for society as a whole, which are indicative of overall quality of life.

We determined four important categories which affect women’s lives: Infrastructure, Inequality, Legislation and Work. Within these categories, we looked at basic necessities such as health, safety and education which covers domestic violence rates, female life expectancy and female literacy rate, for example. Inequality includes data on the Gender Wage Gap, female sanitary product tax rates and human trafficking. Legislation looks at divorce laws, days of maternity leave and women’s suffrage. Finally, Women in Work analyses the percentage of women in C-level, governmental and founder positions, and more.

Among other factors, we also calculated the ‘Equal Pay Day’ which is the day from which women essentially work for free until the end of the year due to the Gender Wage Gap. As part of the research, we also polled female journalists from these 100 countries asking how they would rate life for women in their country, as well as which factors are most important to them. Safety, Education and Health were overwhelmingly voted as the most important, so the final weighting of this index has been scored to give Infrastructure more importance in order to reflect this. The final index ranks these 100 countries on how liveable they are for women, with those at the top of the index offering a higher quality of life, and those at the bottom offering a lower quality of life.

Of the many cities where Nestpick offers apartments, some of our more popular countries include Ireland and Italy. Through Nestpick you should not have any trouble finding apartments in Dublin, nor apartments in Milan.

  • % Government
  • % C - Level
  • No. of Female Entrepreneurs
  • Professional Female Athletes in Olympics
  • Women in STEM Score
  • Safety Score
  • Education Score
  • Health Score
  • Gender Wage Gap
  • Global Gender Gap Index
  • Female Sanitary Product Tax Rate
  • Exemption Type
  • Women at Risk of Period Poverty Score
  • Human Trafficking Score
  • Equal Pay Day
  • Women's Legislation Score
  • Abortion Legality
  • Length of Parental Leave in Days
  • Year that Women Could Vote
  • Living Standard Score

 PopulationWomen in WorkInfrastructureInequalityLegislation Score
RankCountryPopulation% of WomenTotal Score

The 2019 Women’s Liveability Index analyses the living quality and conditions for women in 100 countries around the globe. To select these 100 countries, research focused on gathering a broad selection covering every continent, choosing countries which provided sufficient data and polling resources. Data-driven research such as this needs to take into account the lack of reporting in many countries, therefore the final list of countries only includes those where we felt the data could be confirmed by multiple sources. Finally, the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2018 was consulted to confirm that these 100 countries are comparably both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for women.

Four categories with the following micro-factors were used to analyse each country for their women’s liveability:

  • Women in Work: % Government, % C-Level, No. of Female Entrepreneurs Score, % of Professional Female Athletes in Olympics, Women in STEM Score.
  • Infrastructure: Safety, Education and Health for women.
  • Inequality: Gender Wage Gap, Global Gender Gap Index, Female Sanitary Product Tax Rate, Exemption Type, Women at Risk of Period Poverty Score, Human Trafficking Score, Equal Pay Day.
  • Legislation: Women’s Legislation Score, Abortion Legality, Length of Maternity Leave in Days, Year That Women Could Vote.

Additionally, overall Living Standards were included as the final factor.


Each factor was given a score to determine the overall ranking, excluding Female Sanitary Product Tax Rate, Exemption Type, Equal Pay Day and Year That Women Could Vote which were included as additional information, but do not have any impact on the final ranking.


All data is normalised to a [0-10] scale, with 10 being the best score for women. The formula used is min-max normalisation. For example, a country with a score of 10 for ‘Human Trafficking’ means that the country is very good for women in terms of human trafficking:


Formula used for the weighted average, where n is the number of categories, and i is the i-th factor:


WeightedAverage=inWeighti*Datai


Sources:

Women in Work

% Government: Percentage of women in government. Average of the subcategories:

  • Percentage of women in ministerial positions, reflecting appointments up to 1 January 2017. Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Latest available data.

  • The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments. Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Latest available data.


% in C-level: % of women in senior and middle management positions. Source: International labour organisation (ILO), Global Gender Gap reports. Latest available data.


No. of Female Entrepreneurs Score: Average of the subcategories (when data available).

  • % Female Business owners of Total Business owners. Source: Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE). Latest available data.

  • Percentage of firms with female participation in ownership. Source: World Bank (WB). Latest available data.

  • Percentage of firms with greater than 50% female ownership. Source: World Bank (WB). Latest available data.

  • % Companies, at least one female founder. Source: Crunchbase. Latest available data. % Startups, at least one female founder, after 31.12.2016. Source: Crunchbase. Latest available data.

  • Number of startups founded after 31.12.2016 per 100000 inhabitants. Source: Crunchbase. Latest available data.


% of Professional Female Athletes in Olympics: Number of professional female athletes in the Summer Olympic Games 2016 in Rio. Source: Github.


Women in STEM score. Average of the subcategories:

  • Percentage of female graduates from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programmes in tertiary education, female (%). Sources: UNESCO and Global Gender Gap report 2018, latest available data.

  • Female researchers as a percentage of total researchers (HC) - Engineering and technology. Source: UNESCO, latest available data.

  • Female researchers as a percentage of total researchers (HC) - Natural sciences. Source: UNESCO, latest available data.

  • Female researchers as a percentage of total researchers (HC). Source: UNESCO, latest available data.

  • Female access to tertiary education (School enrollment, tertiary). Source: Human Development Indicators (HDI). Latest available data.

  • PISA: Mean performance on the mathematics scale. Female. Source: World Bank. Latest available data.

  • TIMSS: Mean performance on the mathematics scale for eighth-grade students, female. Source: World Bank. Latest available data.


Infrastructure

Safety Score. An average of the subcategories:

  • General safety score. Source: Safe Around Danger rankings. Latest available data.

  • Women’s safety score: A weighted average of the subcategories collected in order to offset the low crime report rates in countries where crime is prevalent but underreported.

    • Violence law score. Source: Social Institution and Gender Index (GID-DB). Latest available data. 25% weight in the subcategory.

    • Attitude to violence: Attitudes towards violence: percentage of women who agree that a husband/partner is justified in beating his wife/partner under certain circumstances. Sources: Social Institution and Gender Index (GID-DB), local reports. Latest available data. 25% weight in the subcategory.

    • Partner violence: Prevalence of violence: percentage of women who have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner at some time in their life. Sources: Social Institution and Gender Index (GID-DB), local reports. Latest available data. 50% weight in the subcategory.


Education Score. An average of the subcategories:

  • Literacy rate, adult female (% of females aged 15 and above). Sources: World Bank, UNESCO, latest available data.

  • Education system score. Weighted average of subcategories. UN Education index takes into consideration more than just education attainment, therefore it has the largest weight in the scoring. It is however, not specific to females, thus the other categories were included.

    • UN Education Index. Source: United Nations, latest available data. 40% weight in the education system score.

    • Difference of female expected years of school from the average of the countries from our list (both genders). Source: United Nations, latest available data. 20% weight in the education system score.

    • Difference of female mean years of school from the average of the countries from our list (both genders). Source: United Nations, latest available data. 20% weight in the education system score.

    • Difference of female population with secondary education (25 and older) from the average of the countries from our list (both genders). Source: United Nations (UN), latest available data. 20% weight in the education system score.


Health Score.

  • Health system score. Source: World health organisation (WHO), latest available data. 30% weight in the health score.

  • Women health score. 70% weight in the health score. An average of the subcategories.

    • Cervix and Breast Mortality (%). Source: WHO, latest available data.

    • Contraceptive prevalence, any methods (% of women ages 15-49). Source: World Bank, latest available data.

    • Life expectancy at birth, women (years). Source: WHO, latest available data.

    • Maternal mortality ratio (modelled estimate, per 100,000 live births). Source: World Bank, latest available data.

    • Female Genital Mutilation prevalence (% of Women and girls potentially affected by FGM). Sources: UNICEF, European Institute for Gender Equality, other immigration and emigration data sources.


Inequality

Gender Wage Gap. Estimated wage gap. Source: OECD, Eurostat, local reports, World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap report 2018 estimated income gap adjusted to the wage gap data. Latest available data.


Global Gender Gap Index. Out of a total score of 1. The highest possible score is 1 (gender parity) and the lowest possible score is 0 (imparity). Source: World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap report 2018.

Female Sanitary Product Tax Rate. Source: Collected from VAT description tax codes and lists of items that are exempt from the average VAT in the country, latest available data in the English language.


Exemption Type: Indicator if the female sanitary products are given exemption from the normal VAT rate in the country. Some countries have a 0% tax on everything, therefore, sanitary products are marked as ‘no exemption’ in the final table.


Women at Risk of Period Poverty Score. Average of the subcategories:

  • Percentage of population living under the international poverty line of 5.5 USD per day. Source: World Bank, latest available data.

  • Price of tampons as a percentage of the average wage. Sources: Expatistan, International labour organisation (ILO), local salary reports, latest available data.


Human Trafficking Score. A weighted average of subcategories. As human trafficking data depends on the report/catching rate, the study accounts for the inconsistencies in the data and puts more emphasis on the efforts of the country to alleviate this problem.

  • Tier of country in Trafficking in Persons Report 2018, Department of state USA. 70% weight in the human trafficking score.

  • Estimated Percent of Population in Modern Slavery %. Source: Knoema, latest available data. 20% weight in the human trafficking score.

  • Total human trafficking number by country of exploitation, annual average of available data. Sources: International organisation for migration (IOM), United Nations (UN), other reports. 10% weight in the human trafficking score.


Equal Pay Day. Wage gap data multiplied by the number of days in the year (365) to calculate which day of the year this number falls on. The date shown is the day from which women essentially work for free until the end of the year, due to the gender wage gap. For some countries where the gender wage gap is negative (due to women earning more than men), the Equal Pay Day shown refers to the following year, i.e., women in Cameroon and Laos where the gap is negative will continue to earn the equivalent of men up until January 21st and 7th respectively of the following year.


Legislation

Legislation Score. An average of the subcategories:

  • Divorce legality. Gender, Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB) 2019 Women in Power. Political empowerment score. Source: World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap report 2018.

  • The existence of paternity leave. Source: World Policy Center, latest available data.

  • Percentage of wages paid in covered period of maternity leave (%). Source: UN, latest available year.


Abortion Legality. A score according to the conditions during which a woman may have an abortion. 4 - “without giving a reason”, 3 - “on socioeconomic grounds”, 2 - “to preserve health”, 1 - “to save a woman’s life or in case of rape”, 0 - “prohibited in all cases”. Sources: World Abortion Laws, OECD, latest available data.


Length of Maternity Leave in Days. Length of Maternity and Paternity Leave in Days. Length of paid maternity and paternity leave possible. Sources: world policy center, OECD, latest available year.

Paternity leave included as in addition to the importance of maternity leave, generous paternity leave is indicative of a progressive and balanced society.


Year that Women Could Vote. Year when women gained full voting rights. Source: various local and governmental sources. Latest available data.


Additional Factors

Living Standard. An average of the subcategories:

  • Social progress index. Source: socialprogress.org, latest available data.

  • Human development index. Source: UN, latest available data.

  • GDP per capita. Source: CIA World Factbook, latest available data.


Poll. Online poll sent to female journalists in all countries. Received answers February 2019. Respondees were asked to pick the three most important factors that have the biggest impact on whether a country is good or bad for a woman. Safety, Education and Health overwhelmingly voted as most important, therefore the ‘Infrastructure’ category weighting reflects this insight, meaning it has more impact on the overall rank than the other categories.