American Women Face More Discrimination Than Europeans, Report Finds

Discrimination against women in the U.S. outpaces that of women across Western Europe, parts of Eastern Europe, Colombia, and Australia.

That’s according to the Social Institutions and Gender Index, published Friday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S. comes in 26th out of 120 ranked countries, the report said.

This poor showing is attributed to a number of factors, including a lack of paid maternity leave in the U.S., states that permit child marriage, and uneven application of laws protecting women’s workplace rights.

The report also points to an ongoing gender pay gap in the U.S, and the persistence of an unconscious gender bias—which is attributed to less female representation in public and political office than male. However, it should be noted the report is drawn from 2017 data and therefore does not incorporate huge wins by women in this year’s midterm election.

The OECD studies 180 countries for the index, but 60 are not ranked due to a lack of complete data, including countries like China and Saudi Arabia. For those that are ranked, the index considers 33 metrics in four categories: discrimination within the family, such as being forced into early marriage; threats to physical integrity, such as reproductive rights; access to resources, such as land or workplace rights; and civil liberties, such as political representation.

Switzerland is ranked the least discriminatory according to the index, while countries in the Middle East see the highest levels of discrimination. Yemen is ranked the worst, behind Jordan, Iran, and Pakistan.

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