Nicaragua made it to the top 10 in 2012, when it was ranked 9th. Despite dropping one spot in the ranking in 2013, the country’s overall score improved from 76 to 77 percent—the highest possible score is 100 percent and stands for total gender equality. The country’s highest ranking is for the Political Empowerment sub index, in which Nicaragua occupies the 5th position worldwide, only surpassed by Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
According to the report, being one of the 10 most advanced countries in the world in terms of gender equality comes from the returns of investment in women’s health and education. Also, a country among the top 10 is one where women enjoy the most equal access to education and healthcare and are most likely to be able to participate fully in the country’s political and economic life.
Even though Nicaragua continues to be the only Latin America and Caribbean country in the top 10 overall best performers, the region, which closed 70 percent of its overall gender gap in 2013, is the most improved in relation to the year before compared to the other regions. Overall, the gender gap narrowed slightly across the globe in 2013, as 86 of 133 countries showed improvements.
The Global Gender Gap Report annually ranks 136 countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality. No country has yet achieved total gender equality (an overall score of 100 percent).