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Oct 13, 2010 8:33 AM by Associated Press

US enters top 20 in ending gender bias

A newly released survey of 134 nations shows four Nordic countries lead the world in eliminating inequality between men and women.

Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden have topped the Global Gender Gap Index since it was first released in 2006 by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, and Iceland remained in first place for a second year.

But the survey says France fell to 46th place - a loss of 28 places - because it has fewer women in ministerial posts.

Many Arab and predominantly Muslim countries remain near the bottom of the list including Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Yemen.

The United States leaped from 31st place last year to 19th this year based on very high levels of literacy for both women and men. The U.S. also has very high levels of women in primary, secondary and higher education.

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