Belgium is 20th best country to be a woman


Of 100 countries researched for the Women’s Liveability Index, Belgium came in at 20

Top points for health care, safety

Belgium is the 20th best country in the world in which to live for women, according to the new edition of the Women’s Liveability Index. The Index is published annually by real estate search engine Nestpick.

Nestpick is in the business of providing rentals to internationals moving around the globe. It conducted exhaustive research for the Women’s Liveability Index in 100 countries.

The countries were chosen based on the availability of data; some countries simply don’t have all the data Nestpick required. The firm looked at 20 indicators to come up with scores for each and an overall score of liveability.

Indicators run from the general to the specific, including the percentage of women living in the country, its number of female entrepreneurs and athletes, education levels, health records, pay equality and even if the country has a tampon tax.

Work to do in politics, management

Belgium scored 20 of the 100 countries that made it onto the Index. It ranked extremely well in education and health and well above average in safety. Education took into account literacy rates, years legally required to be educated and years actually present in education.

Health looked at availability of contraception, life expectancy, birth mortality, prevalence of female genital mutilation and cervix and breast mortality. Safety scores were tallied on the basis of reported cases of domestic and sexual violence, attitudes to it and the laws that govern it.

Where Belgium scored less well was the number of women with ministerial positions or federal parliamentary seats as well as the number of women in senior and management positions. Both figures are less than one-third.

Belgium’s total score was 7.628 out of 10. While no country got a perfect 10, Norway came the closest, with a score of 8.699. Sweden came next (8.401), followed by Canada (8.382). Bottom of the list was Nigeria, with a score of 2.030, Ethiopia (2.180) and Pakistan (2.269).

Photos: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA