Ireland now in top five countries to be a woman
IRISH women have it pretty good compared to females in the rest of the world.
The gender gap is narrower in this country than nearly everywhere else in the world, a new World Economic Forum report has found.
Only Scandinavian women enjoy greater equality with their menfolk in the economic, educational, health and political spheres.
Ireland is ranked fifth out of 135 countries worldwide in the Gender Gap Index 2012, coming behind Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
However, we're well ahead of our nearest neighbour Britain in 18th place, Germany in 13th position, the United States at 22 and France which comes in at a lowly number 56.
Irish women score highly for having a female head of state for 21 out of the last 50 years, even though we're well down the list for female political representation.
Education levels among Irish women are also particularly high, with more women going on to secondary and third level education than anywhere else.
Irish women are also more likely to be employed as professional and technical workers than other countries.
The study does not compare countries with each other, instead it measures the gap between male and female experience within each state. So while Irish women only earn three quarters as much as Irish men, that gap isn't as wide as many other countries.
The way the study is compiled means women in poorer countries can also fare well if they are not majorly discriminated against compared to men in their country.
The index has been compiled every year since 2006 and Irish women have been climbing steadily up it, rising from 10th position in six years. By contrast British and US women have been faring worse over time.
Denmark, New Zealand, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Switzerland are also in the top 10 worldwide.
The World Economic Forum said it wanted to track countries' progress over time and highlight those which divide resources most fairly between men and women, regardless of overall wealth.