Economic Growth

Top in women’s soccer, how do the US and Japan do on gender equality?

Mark Jones
Head of Digital Content, The World Economic Forum
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On Sunday, the US faces Japan in the women’s world cup final in Vancouver. It’s a re-run of the last World Cup final in 2011, which Japan won, and the two teams now look to be the superpowers of the women’s game.

But, despite the immortal words of Sir Bill Shankly, there is more to life than soccer. And when you look at wider measures of the role of women in society, the two nations don’t do quite as well.


The World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Report ranks the US as world champions for women’s equality with men in tertiary education. Likewise, Japan leads in healthy life expectancy. But in other key areas both have a way to go to make it to the top of the gender equality tables.

Author: Mark Jones is Commissioning Editor for the World Economic Forum

Image: Homare Sawa of Japan celebrates after scoring against the U.S. during their Women’s World Cup final soccer match in Frankfurt July 17, 2011. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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