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Women's rights around the globe: the world's most feminist countries
Posted on 23/09/2018


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What factors do you consider when choosing your holiday destination? A country's culture, history, or cuisine? After reading our pick of the world's most feminist countries, you'll be adding a destination's attitude towards women to the top of your travel criteria.

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  • Iceland

    The country leading the world in its fight for gender equality is Iceland. Besides extraordinary landscapes including glaciers and hot springs, Iceland boasts a progressive attitude towards women that you'll struggle to find elsewhere.

    For starters, the country's annual Women's Day Off marks the 1975 strike when women refused to go to work, do housework, or participate in child-rearing at home. Not long after in 1980, Iceland's Vigdís Finnbogadóttir became the first woman in the world to be elected as president.

    With history like this, it's no surprise that Iceland today is ranked one of the best countries to be a woman. From teaching gender equality lessons in preschool to laws banning gender discriminatory advertising, why would you choose to holiday anywhere else?

  • Finland

    Another Nordic country putting the rest of the world to shame when it comes to women's rights is Finland. Finnish women were the world's first to be elected to parliament in 1907 and Finnish politics today continues to be dominated by women as they hold 10 out of 18 positions.

    Finland is also a pioneering country in the world's quest for equal parenting thanks to its laws granting all women up to 105 working days of maternity leave and encouraging men to take 54 working days of paternity leave.

    So not only is Finland home to the stylish city of Helsinki and seven beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it's a country working hard to close the gender gap in all senses of the term . Despite only having 12 hours of sunlight in its winter months, Finland is definitely not in the dark when it comes to gender equality.

  • New Zealand
    New Zealand

    Kiwis have given girl power a whole new meaning. In 1893, New Zealand gave women the right to vote, making it the first country in the world to do so. But with a population of sheep greater than that of its inhabitants, it may come as a shock to hear New Zealand is one of the world's most feminist countries.

    In the year 2000, all of the five most important positions under New Zealand's constitution were filled by women, including the Prime Minister. And this forward-thinking attitude towards women's rights is only set to carry on as the country's gender pay gap continues to fall each year, reported at 9.2 percent in 2018.

    Whether you wish to spend your holiday exploring the country's ancient and thriving Maori culture or its vast array of national parks, don't forget to take notes on how the Kiwis treat women. The rest of the world could learn a thing or two.

  • Denmark

    Despite its high taxes, harsh winters, and lack of year-round sunlight, Denmark has been rated one of the best countries in the world for women's rights. According to a recent survey by Eurostat, retired Danish women are the happiest in the whole of Europe.

    Maybe it's their progressive government's free healthcare and higher education, or flexible parental leave policy? Or maybe it's their earning-related day care system or growing intersectional feminist party, Feministisk Initiativ? We aren't sure but what we do know is that Denmark is taking the right steps to improve life for its women, bumping Copenhagen up to the number one spot on our wanderlust list.

    The Danish capital oozes modernism and as one of the world's most sustainable urban centers, the Danes are not only forward-thinking when it comes to the environment.

  • Nicaragua

    It may come as a surprise but Latin America's poorest country, Nicaragua, ranks highly for gender equality among the world's most feminist countries. Although it had a 78 percent gender pay gap disparity in 2015, this year Nicaragua has managed to close its pay gap completely, making it one of the only countries in the world where men and women earn the same.

    In other fields including health, Nicaragua also gets a good grade for gender equality, evident by the amount of women in official positions. Here, women make up 40 percent of lawmakers, senior officials and managers. But even though this percentage is higher than that of other, wealthier countries like Japan, which has only 9 percent, it's important not to get ahead of ourselves.

    Nicaragua doesn't quite compare to the aforementioned countries on this list. For example despite ranking high in gender equality in educational attainment, its overall education level is very low, with only half of Nicaraguan girls enrolled in high school. But it's a good start and even more of a reason to visit. Whether you choose the opulent colonial architecture of Granada, or its picture-perfect beaches, a visit to Nicaragua is the perfect insight into one of Latin America's strongest feminist movements.


Beyond scenic beaches and culinary greatness, when choosing our vacation destinations we often fail to consider a countries' attitudes towards women.

Although the United States is definitely not the worst country for women's rights, even there it's safe to say women don't have it easy. In fact, women are paid on average 18.2 percent less than their male colleagues, and being short-changed at work isn't the only prejudice women have to deal with. Let's not forget the controversial tampon tax and the lack of female representation in politics. Faced with all of this, gender inequality is the last thing women need on holiday.

When packing for your next getaway, leave discrimination at home and say hello to equality with a trip to one of these female-friendly destinations.

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