What do the statistics really tell us? Do they tell us anything at all?

Recently a number of my close friends posted a link to a chart that ranks countries based on how good they are for working women. Take a look at it and then continue to read.

This chart used five different indicators as follows (the numbers in brackets is the weighting the criteria was given):

  • Difference between female and male population with tertiary education (23%)
  • Female labour force participation (23%)
  • Difference between female and male median earnings of full time employment (23%)
  • Women in senor management as % of total (23%)
  • Net child-care costs as a % of average wage (8%)

Do note that the weightings of the indicators, makes the cost of child care just a bit more than 1/3 of the importance of the other indicators.

The conclusion was that New Zealand is the “best” place to be a working woman whereas South Korea is the lowest ranking that made it on to the list. 

But do these indicators and the weighting that they have been given really represent what is best for working women? Or what is best for working and non working women?

What indicators would you like to see added to the list and why? As a women what would you want to see measured?


About Zehra

Zehra is a livelihoods and cash transfer specialist working in humanitarian contexts. She has also been a health and lifestyle coach for humanitarian aid workers. Loves food, bollywood and tweeting (@zehrarizvi).
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