18 Best Countries for Women to Live in Today

2. Finland

The Nordic countries lead the way in championing a women’s right to equality. They are profoundly progressive societies. These are the places where women lack equal access to education or the same legal status as men. But in Finland, more women than men have tertiary education.

Even though women have equal access to jobs like politics, it’s a male-dominated arena. In fact, two-thirds of the ministers are men. There is still a gender gap when it comes to salaries, too. Men are slightly higher (80 percent) than women (76 percent). Even though Norway is a progressive society, there is still a gender gap in average annual salaries.

Men earn, on average, 27 percent more than women. Finland has a public childcare system and provides school children with meals. This means that it is much easier for both parents to work full-time. Parental leave is 263 days.

Paid leave. So Finnish society is a great place to have children. Mothers receive pay for the first 105 days. Then either parent can choose to be home for the next 158 (paid) days. In Finland, both parents usually work. In fact, up to 83 percent of women work.

But it also possible to take childcare leave without losing your job if a child is less than three years old. Finnish women have an average fertility rate of 1.8 children. Still, there is a 20 percent pay gap between men and women there. This may be because more women work in public service jobs and get lower salaries than the private sector.