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A Gender Divided

OXFORD – The top and the bottom of the list of countries in Newsweek’s recent cover story, “The 2011 Global Women’s Progress Report,” evoke images of two different worlds.

At the top of the list – the “Best Places to be a Woman” – we see the usual suspects: Iceland and the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Canada. On that planet, we see rankings in the upper 90’s for the survey’s five categories: justice, health, education, economics, and politics. Women are out-earning men in college degrees (United States), domestic abusers are being banned from their homes and tracked with electronic monitors (Turkey), and female prime ministers are being elected (Denmark and Australia).