What I always find interesting (read: sad) is that although some nation states are economically and politically powerful, their might fails to translate in to a fight for equality.
Of course the best example of this is the USA, where the first glimmer of possibility of electing a woman as president came just last election. This is unreasonable, and more than a little maddening. Then we look at cases like Rwanda which, not-but 15 years ago was in the throws of one of the worst civil conflicts the world has ever seen (and turned it's back on). Now, the country -still learning from its past in many mistakes- boasts one of the best records of political gender equality. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Rwanda doesn't have it's political problems... but on the question of gender equality that country is leaps and bounds ahead of the USA.
Just last week we saw the first female Costa Rican president take her place at the table; who is going to argue that Costa Rica is a more advanced nation that Canada or the USA? No one would dare. And yet, we see evidence like this in many parts of the world. I think the fundamental difference is that countries that are doing well on this issue aren't waiting to tackle more pressing issues, and then dealing with it. They tackle what they can, when they can and if we're being honest gender issues is relatively low-hanging fruit in the grand scheme of worldwide issues. We can fix this. As a woman, I've always been taught that I need to work extra hard to get what I want... I hope that by the time I have my children, I won't have to teach my girls that lesson too.