We have talked about how to measure development and the best way to measure it. Today I read an article that looked at “What country is it best to be a woman in”
This survey was conducted by the USA paper the New York Times. They looked at a group of countries called the G20. The G20 is made up of the owl rd’s biggest economies, so it nuclides those countries who produce the most and trade the most. This obviously includes the world’s wealthier countries (those with a high GNP) but also some countries that produce a lot because they have a huge population these will have a lower GNP per person as the money will be spread thinner across so many people)
What is interesting for us as Geographers is what the survey used to measure development and how the survey shows that relying on GDP is not a good way to work out how developed a country is.
This survey looked at:
1)quality of health
2) freedom from violence
3)participation in politics
4) work place opportunities
5) access to resources such as education and property rights
6) freedom from trafficking and slavery.
What they found was that the USA is one of the worst ‘very rich’ countries to be a woman in mainly because of their higher death in child birth rates. Also they found that Canada is the best place to be a woman in because of both health care and their position at work
So what we can learn from this is
- that you need to measure a country’s development in many different ways and not just by wealth (GNP per person)
- classifying countries as LEDC and MEDC only is also too simple. Other factors need to be taken into account