World Economic Forum report: Mind the 100-year gap

‘At the present rate of change, it will take nearly a century to achieve parity, a timeline we simply cannot accept in today’s globalised world’

This is according to a December 2019 report from World Economic Forum on gender parity over the past 14 years of the Global Gender Gap Index, which tracks progress on relative gaps between women and men in health, education, economy and politics.

The report also finds that:

  • The United Kingdom ranked 21st in the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index, lowered from the 2018 ranking at 15th, and the 2006 ranking at 9th place. In the health and survival sub-index the United Kingdom ranked 112th out of 153 countries.
  • Globally, 36% of senior private sector managers and public sector officials are women (about 2% higher than the figure reported last year). Despite this progress, the gap to close this aspect remains substantial as only a handful of countries are approaching parity.
  • In contrast to the slow but positive progress in terms of leadership positions, women’s participation in the labour market is stalling and financial disparities are slightly larger. On average, only 55% of adult women are in the labour market, versus 78% of men, while a wage gap of over 40% and income gap of over 50% are still to be bridged. In many countries, women are significantly disadvantaged in accessing credit, land or financial products, further restricting their opportunities.
  • At the current pace, Western Europe has the shortest time span in which the gender gap can potentially be closed, at 54 years, and at the other end of the spectrum East Asia is projected to take 163 years to reach gender parity.

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