The G20 countries signed to close their respective gender gap by 25 % until 2025 in 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. This year is 2020 and mid term measure of this gap. WEF Gender Gap Report recently issued give some good news but also points out that we need to work much harder women’s’ inclusion at the W20. The good news is non-G20 countries learn and grasp the opportunity as well.
Since 2006, World Economic Forum has been calculating the Global Gender Gap Index and measuring the extent of gender-based gaps among four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment) and tracking the overall progress towards closing these gaps over time in countries measured.
Klaus Schwab Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum in his foreword to the report says that “building fairer and more inclusive economies must be the goal of global, national and industry leaders. To get there, instilling gender parity across education, health, politics and across all forms of economic participation will be critical. Over the past 14 years the Global Gender Gap Index included in this report has served as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics.”
He also remarks that that “this year’s report highlights the growing urgency for action. Without the equal inclusion of half of the world’s talent, we will not be able to deliver on the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for all of society, grow our economies for greater shared prosperity or achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
In my opinion the report invites governments to focus on their potentials to grow their respective economies by closing the gap rather than focusing on their cliché political outlooks and their classic agendas which usually excludes a gender outlook.
The intention behind the report is stated as “this report will contribute to shaping mindsets and catalyzing action towards the achievement of gender equality.”
Suggestion form the report is “Companies must treat people with dignity and respect and offer equal opportunities to all members of the society, leveraging gender diversity and investing in all of their talent through ongoing upskilling and reskilling. Governments must create policies that provide talent development, integration and deployment opportunities for all genders, diversify the leadership pool and provide support to families and caregivers, in both youthful and ageing societies alike. And business and government must work together on creating a new economic and social narrative for action and on coordinating and speeding up the process of change.”
Report includes 153 countries and regional comparisons.
When we look at the global 101 of the 149 countries in the report have both this year and last year have increased their scores. This is the good news in the report in my opinion.
Political Empowerment gap has been the most improved dimension this year. The number of women in parliament Latvia, Spain and Thailand has increased substantially. 25% of global political seats are occupied by women and only 21% of the ministers are women. Still, in some countries, women are not represented at all.
The number of women in senior roles within the Economic Participation and Opportunity dimension has also increased. Globally, 36% of senior private sector’s managers and public sector’s officials are women.
Women’s participation in the labor market is however stalling in the Economic Participation and Opportunity. On average, only 55% of adult women are in the labor market, versus 78% of men. Wage gap and the income gap still needs to be addressed.
Educational Attainment gaps are relatively small on average Yet, 10% of the girls aged 15–24 in the world are illiterate.
The report projects that the overall global gender gap will close in 99.5 years, on average.
However, with the lack of progress in closing the Economic Participation and Opportunity gap may lead to an extension of the time it will be needed to close this gap, taking it to 257 years to close this gap.
The second area where gender gaps will take longest to close is Political Empowerment. Even if, there exists a speed up at the pace of progress towards parity, yet it will still take 94.5 years to close the gender gap.
As for the third area, the Educational Attainment gender gap is on track to be closed over the next 12 years, mainly thanks to advancements in some developing countries.
The fourth topic of the Health and Survival gender gap remains virtually unchanged since last year.
Iceland remains to be the most gender-equal country in the world for the 11th time in a row. It has closed almost 88% of its overall gender gap, further improving since last year.
For the overall improvement in gender gap appears to be best in Spain (8th, 79.5%), Rwanda (9th, 79.1%) and Germany (10th, 78.7%).
The top five most-improved countries in the overall index this year includes Spain and Mexico.
The Global Gender Gap Report of the year 2018 had found out that overall global gender gap will close in 108 years (99.5 years this year) across countries covered in the report. The most challenging gender gaps to close are the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take 202 (257 years this year) and 107 years (94.5 years this year) to close respectively.
It seems that politicians and women’s organizations need to work harder on economic inclusion to be able to close the gender gap.