Nicaragua and Gillard are kicking all kinds of arse

It’s been an incredibly disheartening year to be a woman. Lots of middle-aged white men lecturing us all about rape. Attempting not to listen to sexist bile being spewed at Julia Gillard, first female Prime Minister of my home country Australia (although I did enjoy watching her deliver an extended and thoroughly awesome arse-kicking to the leader of the opposition about it). #Murdouch. Science: it’s a girl thing! (Really, EU? I expected better of you).

I mean, did I miss the memo? When did we all agree that the advances we’ve made since universal suffrage were kind of wearing us out and we’d all just take a wee trip back to the ’50s?

Then tonight I downloaded the latest Global Gender Gap report, released yesterday by the World Economic Forum, planning to prepare a brief summary for Análisis Latino. And then, this:

That pic is just way to small, isn’t it?

Let me help:

Nicaragua has leapt 18 places in the space of a year to wind up – a poor Latin American country uncomfortably positioned in the drug-war [sp.] hotspot of Central America – in the top 10 countries in terms of equal distribution of economic, political and social resources between men and women.

And it doesn’t even reflect a massive downward shift in the Northern countries’ scores, despite all the icky rhetoric we’ve been saddled with of late!

I’m looking forward to investigating the policies and changes that were involved in driving this change, but for now I think – hope – there can be lessons here in overcoming both cultural and social factors – read: machismo – as well as economic factors in order to empower both women and men. Be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few years.

I’ll be rounding up the whole region’s results and lessons to be learnt tomorrow, but I was too excited not to share this straight away.


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