GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Norway leads the world in closing the gender gap between men and women, says a report released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum.
The forum's Global Gender Gap Report for 2008 lists Norway as No. 1 followed by Finland, Sweden and Iceland.
Making significant gains in 2008 were the Netherlands (9), Latvia (10), Sri Lanka (12) and France (15), the report said.
Germany (11), the United Kingdom (13) and Spain (17) slipped from the previous year but still remained in the top 20.
The report said the United States, ranked 27th, made progress in 2008 in closing gender gaps in estimated earned income and perceived income for similar work.
Advances were also noted in political empowerment as a result of increased participation of U.S. women in political decision-making positions.
"Greater representation of women in senior leadership positions within governments and financial institutions is vital not only to find solutions to the current economic turmoil, but to stave off such crises in the future," the report said.