Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Canada In 4th Place, Are We Almost in Paradise?

The Human Development Index considers three areas to rank countries from the best to live in to the worst, these areas are life expectancy, adult literacy and gross enrolment in education; and purchasing power parity and income. According to these 3dimensions, Canada ranked 4th in the most recent report, behind Norway, Autralia and Iceland (it's good that they don't include the weather as one of the deciding factors). Historically, Canada has always been ranked in the first places in these reports, and I am sure that is why so many people around the world apply to become a permanent resident; however, there are other interesting reports that one needs to look at before considering Canada a true paradise...

There is another index published by the UNDP called the gender-related development index (GDI), introduced in Human Development Report 1995, "it measures achievements in the same dimensions using the same indicators as the HDI but captures inequalities in achievement between women and men. It is simply the HDI adjusted downward for gender inequality. The greater the gender disparity in basic human development, the lower is a country's GDI relative to its HDI."

In the GDI Canada ranked 74. Before discussing this result, I also want to discuss the results of the GEM (Gender Empowerment Measure) which "reveals whether women take an active part in economic and political life. It tracks the share of seats in parliament held by women; of female legislators, senior officials and managers; and of female professional and technical workers- and the gender disparity in earned income, reflecting economic independence. Differing from the GDI, the GEM exposes inequality in opportunities in selected areas." In this index Canada made it in 12th place.

It is interesting to see that in some areas like the government and politics the country seems to have embraced diversity very positively, but in general inequality seems to still be an issue. According to these studies, women still don't have the same opportunities as men. I wonder if the long maternity leave offered by the government has something to do with this...

Source: http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_CAN.html

1 comment:

  1. Gustavo GonzálezOctober 8, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    This is a good Analysis over the Analysis and highlight these three indexes and certainly give us a major picture of living, opportunities, gender inequality particulary in Canada.

    In my opinion -i´m a Mexican citizen- it's important to take these analysis as an standard of what my country should work for. No matter in what position we are ranked right now, the important thing is what position upward we want to get and what efforts every citizen is doing in order to be a better country.

    Actually women take positions in different areas and leadership, so we must recognize it and support all efforts to get gender equality. I don´t understand which is the reason to give more or better opportunities to men if women are clear of mind and are focused in their goals.

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