Emerging Europe Makes Some Progress on Closing Gender Gap


Iceland ranked first and successfully closed 87% of its gender gap issues.

"The Nordic countries are maintaining their top position in the rankings because they are continuing to make progress every year, so their percentages and scores have been going further up, whereas Switzerland has pretty much flatlined", she explains.

Thursday's report said that at the current rate of progress, it would now take a full 100 years on average to achieve overall gender equality.

While India soared 30 places to enter this year's top 100 countries where it got a little easier to do business, markets cheered on.

Globally, software and IT services, manufacturing and healthcare industries have shown the highest increases, while the energy and mining sector ranked among the lowest, it added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley vowed to bring India up to top 50 with more economic reforms.

India, which sank to No. 108 overall, down 10 places from 2006, was the reverse of the USA, with high rankings for women's political empowerment but near the bottom in health, education and economic participation.

India scored 0.669 on the global index of gender gap and 0.942 in the health and survival ratio.

The survey of 144 countries finds that as a whole, gender equality has worsened globally for the first time since WEF first produced its index in 2006.

Looking at the individual pillars of the index, the report finds that in 2017, the 27 countries have now closed the gender gap in educational attainment, three more countries than past year.

In economic participation and opportunity, no country has fully closed the gender gap, but 13 countries (two more than last year) have closed more than 80 percent of their gap.

The Philippines dropped three notches in global rankings to 10th out of 144 economies worldwide in 2017, from seventh in 2016. The health gender gap is larger than it stood in 2006.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 11 place overall, up from 17th place a year ago and 70th place in 2006.

Then where did it go wrong? "It was a disappointing year", said Saadia Zahidi, head of education, gender and work at the World Economic Forum.

The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks progress towards gender parity across four themes: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political empowerment.

Iceland has the world's smallest gender gap. However, the report found the State has closed 79 per cent of its overall gender gap. "In most economies around the world there is a reverse gender gap with more women than men occupying these professional and technical positions".



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