The World Economic Forum has released its annual Global Gender Gap Report which examines any gap that exists between men and women in 142 countries based on four pillars; health & survival, educational attainment, economic participation and political empowerment. Unfortunately the term “gap” will remain relevant to this research for quite some time.
The gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006 when the WEF first started measuring it. Based on this pattern, with all else remaining equal, it will take 81 years for women to have equal footing in the workplace. Where will you be in the year 2095?
It’s the ninth year the WEF has measured the global gender gap and whilst gains have been made since the research began it has been offset by reversals in a small number of countries.
For the second year in a row according to the report Australia ranks 24 in the world, a position which is dispiriting considering in 2006 we ranked 15 in the world. We’ve moved backwards ever since.
Australia did, however, for the ninth consecutive year, rank first in the world for educational attainment. There is no doubt women are educated as well as men here. What a shame that doesn’t translate into political empowerment or economic participation.
The ninth edition of the report finds that, among the 142 countries measured, the gender gap is narrowest in terms of health and survival. This gap stands at 96% globally, with 35 countries having closed the gap entirely. This includes three countries that have closed the gap in the past 12 months. The educational attainment gap is the next narrowest, standing at 94% globally; 25 countries have closed the gap entirely.
However, in terms of economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment, the gap stubbornly persists.
No single country has closed its overall gender gap but the Nordic nations remain the most gender-equal societies in the world.
Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark take out the top five positions in that order. Elsewhere in the top 10 there has been some change. Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ireland, the Philippines and Belgium round out the most gender equal societies.