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Norway world's best place to be a woman

The Local Norway
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Norway world's best place to be a woman
Women protesting in Oslo on Women's Day on Saturday. Photo: Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix

Norway has overtaken New Zealand to become the best place in the world to be a working woman, according to The Economist Magazine's 'Glass Ceiling Index', published for International Women's Day on Saturday.

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According to the magazine, Norwegian women enjoy more equal pay than their Scandinavian rivals Sweden and Finland -- they were paid eight percent less money for doing a similar job, compared to the 15 percent for Swedish and Finnish women.  
 
They were also more equally represented on company boards than women from any other country in the index -- with nearly 40 percent of board members being women, largely thanks to mandatory quotas introduced in 2008. 
 
The magazine introduced a new criterion -- the level of paid maternity leave -- for this year's edition of the index, which pushed last year's top performer, New Zealand, down to fifth place, as it was ranked second worst on maternity pay after the United States and Australia. 
 
Sweden came top on the proportion of women in higher education, and beat Norway on child-care costs, paid maternity leave, the number of women taking the GMAT financial exam, and the proportion of women in parliament. 
 
1 Norway 78.7 
 
2 Sweden 78.1
 
3 Finland 77.1 
 
4 Poland 71.5
 
5 New Zealand 69.4
 
6 France 67.7
 
7 Denmark 64.3
 
8 Hungary 62.1
 
9 Canada 61.8
 
10 Spain 61.0

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