In the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, and since it is awards season, MoveHub researched the best countries for women and displayed our data in our first annual Gender (In)Equality Awards.

There has been a lot of discussions lately about which are the best countries to be a woman, based on aspects of everyday life such as education, basic rights, and careers. We compiled data on several of these topics to see which country truly is the best for women to live and work in.

Gender Inequality 2016

The Nordic countries such as Denmark and Norway have previously been named the ‘best’; however after examining the different datasets and legislation, there is no clear winner for gender equality on the scale it should be by now.

The ‘winners’ are marked with olive wreaths, and honourable mentions are given to those countries with a significant effort to combat gender inequality. The ‘loser’ designations are left to specifically highlight the countries that need to contribute more to their fight for gender equality.

About the data

Paid maternity leave around the world

While Bulgaria has recently been named the best country for maternity leave, Sweden’s law allows single parents full use of the 480 allotted days at a percentage of their salary.

If you’re moving to America for a career and family, keep in mind that it is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a mandatory national policy on paid maternity leave.

Pro-women legislation

The scores for these countries are based on the most recent domestic violence legislation that is in effect and on the strength of such laws. Each country’s score is on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the strongest based on the dataset, not as the strongest option legislation could be in the future.

Any country with a score of 5 is neither strong nor poor, just indifferent. Any score lower than a 5 is rated as weak, with 1 as very poor.

Female leaders

The data is from 1965 and onward, with the current world leader list updated as of 2 February 2016.

Representation in parliament

This data is from 1 December 2015 and reflects those actively holding the position, not those newly elected and yet to officially take on the role.

Female board members

Data contains the largest list of countries and is from April 2014.

Women in management

Dataset of female share of employment in senior and middle management, last updated June 2014

Women’s basic education

This data is based on the percentages of adults age 25+ with a secondary school education.

PhD graduates

This data is based on the graduation rates for 2015.

Did the winners in each category surprise you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.