By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The wage-gender gap. Abortion. “Binders full of women.” Women’s rights and gender equality issues have seen much—and heated—debate this election.

Now, new rankings by country on gender equality have been released, and the news for the United States isn’t good.

According to the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, the U.S. ranks 22nd when it comes to gender equality, right behind Austria and Canada. Surprisingly, countries like Cuba (19), South Africa (16) and Nicaragua (9) received higher scores than America. Scandinavian countries like Finland (2), Norway (3) and Sweden (4) topped the list, and Iceland came in first place.

The report, which was released on Oct. 23 by the World Economic Forum, compared 135 countries that together make up more than 90% of the world’s population. Each nation’s score was based on more than 14 criteria centered on four areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. A score of zero equaled total inequality, while a score of one signified total equality.

Sadly, the United States’ 2012 score of .7373 is also its lowest since 2009, proving that it might be time for less talk and more action.

To read the full Global Gender Gap Report, visit: