Global Gender Gap
The Global Gender Gap measure was introduced by the World Economic Forum to examine four critical areas of inequality between men and women:
- Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
- Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
- Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
- Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio
The Gender Gap Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities. By providing a comprehensible framework for assessing and comparing global gender gaps and by revealing those countries that are role models in dividing these resources equitably between women and men, serves as a catalyst for greater awareness as well as greater exchange between policymakers.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2012 emphasizes persisting gender gap divides across and within regions. Based on the seven years of data available for the 111 countries that have been part of the report since its inception, it finds that the majority of countries covered have made slow progress on closing gender gaps.
This year’s findings show that Iceland tops the overall rankings in The Global Gender Gap Index for the fourth consecutive year. Finland ranks in second position, overtaking Norway (third). Sweden remains in fourth position. Northern European countries dominate the top 10 with Ireland in the fifth position, Denmark (seventh) and Switzerland (10th). New Zealand (sixth), Philippines (eighth) and Nicaragua (ninth) complete the top 10.
The index continues to track the strong correlation between a country’s gender gap and its national competitiveness. Because women account for one-half of a country’s potential talent base, a nation’s competitiveness in the long term depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its women.
The sixth annual World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2011 shows a slight decline over the last year in gender equality rankings for New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom this year, while gains are made in Brazil, Ethiopia, Qatar, Tanzania and Turkey. Nordic countries (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) continue to hold top spots having closed over 80% of their gender gaps, while countries at the bottom of the rankings still need to close as much as 50%.
For the first year, data sets analyzing national policies designed to facilitate female workforce participation have been included in the report. The data, based on information from almost 60 countries, shows that while 88% of countries have legislation prohibiting gender-based workplace discrimination, less than 45% have a national benchmarking tool. According to the report, 20% of countries surveyed have mandated female corporate board representation and 30% have mandated political participation.
International scores for health and education are encouraging with 96% of the health gaps and 93% of the education gaps already closed. Around the world, economic and political participation continue to show the largest gaps.
2010 ResultsIceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Sweden (4) - continue to demonstrate the greatest equality between men and women. According to the report’s index, the level of gender equality in France (46) has sunk as the number of women in ministerial positions has fallen over the past 12 months. The United States (19) closed its gender gap, rising 12 places to enter the top 20 for the first time in the report’s five-year history. The climb reflects the higher number of women in leading roles in the current administration and improvements in the wage gap.
According to the overall ranking in the 2009 report, Iceland (1) has claimed the top spot from Norway (3) which slipped to third position behind Finland (2). Sweden (4) completed the Nordic countries’ continued dominance of the top four. The report’s Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities. South Africa and Lesotho made great strides in closing their gender gaps to enter the top 10, at sixth and 10th position respectively. The Philippines (9) lost ground for the first time in four years but remains the leading Asian country in the rankings. Out of the 115 countries covered in the report since 2006, more than two-thirds have posted gains in overall index scores, indicating that the world in general has made progress towards closing the gender gap between men and women.
According to the overall ranking in the 2008 report, Norway (1) leads the world in closing the gender gap between men and women. Three other Nordic countries – Finland (2), Sweden (3) and Iceland (4) – also top the Report’s Gender Gap Index. Previously higher ranking countries such as Germany (11), United Kingdom (13) and Spain (17) slipped down the Index but stayed in the top 20, while Netherlands (9), Latvia (10), Sri Lanka (12) and France (15) made significant gains. Featuring a total of 130 countries, the 2008 report provides an insight into the gaps between women and men in over 92% of the world’s population.
- The Global Gender Gap report 2009
- The Global Gender Gap report 2010
- Gender Gap
- Progress of the World's Women 2008/2009
- ↑ Gobal Gender Gap, official website, accessed 8 November 2012
- ↑ World Economic Forum Website, Global Gender Gap, available at: http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-gender-gap