Top 10 countries for women: Global Gender Gap Index 2010

1. Iceland

Iceland, which has closed 85 percent of its gender gap and topped the list last year as well, overtook Norway, Finland, and Sweden because of an increase in the number of women ministers, an almost completely gender-balanced parliament, and the election of a female prime minister. It ranks No. 1 in political empowerment, No. 18 in economic opportunity and No. 96 in health equity. While it lags in salary equity, it also does well with a paternal leave system, preschool and daycare provided by the municipalities, legislation to ensure greater gender equity in the private sector, and parents' legal right to return to their jobs after childbirth. It was No. 4 in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

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