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Gender equality will always be a hot-button issue when it comes to the United States. Our ancestors have fought for women so that we are now able to work, vote and, pretty much, matter anywhere outside the kitchen and behind a vacuum cleaner. According to the 2012 Gender Gap Report, the United States is 22nd in a list of 135 countries based on 14 indicators used to measure the size of a nation’s gender gap in four key areas.

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These four key areas are economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. According to the Huffington Post, the report gives each country a score between 0 (total inequality) and 1 (total equality) for each of the 14 indicators, then averages these scores to determine a nation’s final score and thus, its ranking.

With the U.S.’s score weighing in this year the lowest it’s been since 2009, at .7373, we’re left wondering…what about the women? Sure, Mitt Romney mentioned that he had “binders full of women” when he was trying to diversify his cabinet as governor of Massachusetts and President Obama gives and receives most of his support from women; but we’re lacking the gender equality we seem to boast.

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When there’s countries like Saudi Arabia taking women out of their ads, it’s hard to imagine a country as progressive as ours not ranking higher when it comes to gender equality because America would never go as far as Saudi Arabia. It’s Western European countries, like Scandinavia who rank at the top of this Gender Gap Report.

In 2012, we should be closer to Western Europe than we are. We pride ourselves on being a progressive nation, but there’s places we lack equality like politics (when will we get a female president?), professional (we need more women in higher positions) and the like. Are we getting any closer to this type of equality?

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