ISSN 2330-717X

Women Only Now Earning What Men Did A Decade Ago

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The gap between men and women in health, education, economic opportunity and political representation has closed by 4% in the past 10 years, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015, which launched Wednesday. In economic terms, the gap has closed by only 3% with progress towards wage equality and labor force parity stalling markedly since 2009/2010.

The slow pace of progress in bridging the gap in economic opportunity between women and men means that women are only now earning the amount men did in 2006, the year that the Global Gender Gap was first produced. Extrapolating this trajectory suggests that it will take the world another 118 years – or until 2133 – to close the economic gap entirely.

With no one country having closed its overall gender gap, Nordic nations remain the most gender-equal societies in the world. As last year, the leading four nations are Iceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Sweden (4) – with Norway overtaking Finland. Denmark (14) and Belgium (19) slipped out of the top ten while Ireland (5) gained three places. Rwanda (6) which entered the Index last year for the first time gained one place. The Philippines (7) gained back two places consolidating its place in the top ten. Nicaragua (12) is still the highest ranking country from Latin America but drops out of the top ten. Three new countries join the top ten: Slovenia (9) climbed 14 places, while Switzerland (8) and New Zealand (10) both gain three places.

Elsewhere, the United States (28) loses eight places since 2014, due to slightly less perceived wage equality for similar work and changes in ministerial level positions. Other major economies in the top twenty include Germany (11), France (15) and the UK (18).

Among the BRICS grouping, the highest-placed nation remains South Africa (17), supported by strong scores on political participation. Russia (75) is next, followed by Brazil (85) which lost 14 places this year due to growing wage gaps and a decline in the number of women in ministerial level positions. China (91) lost 4 places while India (108) gains 6 spots.

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