Slow work on the Global Gender Gap

The Global Gender Gap Index has just been published but the World Economic Forum.  It was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress over time. This year’s edition of the Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity on a scale from 0 (imparity) to1 (parity) across four thematic dimensions—Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment—and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups.

On current trends, the overall global gender gap can be closed in exactly 100 years across the 106 countries covered since the inception of the Report, compared to 83 years last year. The most challenging gender gaps remain in the economic and health spheres. Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it will now not be closed for another 217 years. However, the education–specific gender gap could be reduced to parity within the next 13 years. The political dimension currently holds the widest gender gap and is also the one exhibiting the most progress, despite a slowdown in progress this year. It could be closed within 99 years. The health gender gap is larger than it stood in 2006.

While all world regions record a narrower gender gap than they did 11 years ago, more efforts will continue to be needed to accelerate progress. At the current rate of progress, the overall global gender gap can be closed in 61 years in Western Europe, 62 years in South Asia, 79 years in Latin America and the Caribbean, 102 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, 128 years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 157 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 161 years in East Asia and the Pacific, and 168 years in North America.

A variety of models and empirical studies have suggested that improving gender parity may result in significant economic dividends, which vary depending on the situation of different economies and the specific challenges they are facing. Notable recent estimates suggest that economic gender parity could add an additional US$250 billion to the GDP of the United Kingdom, US$1,750 billion to that of the United States, US$550 billion to Japan’s, US$320 billion to France’s and US$310 billion to the GDP of Germany. Other recent estimates suggest that China could see a US$2.5 trillion GDP increase from gender parity and that the world as a whole could increase global GDP by US$5.3 trillion by 2025 by closing the gender gap in economic participation by 25% over the same period.

Get the full report here.

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