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Pakistan ranks second from last in world gender gap survey

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.

For educational attainment, another of the four pillars in the report, the picture is mixed. Overall, the gender gap now stands at 95%, or 5% away from parity. This is an improvement on the 92% where it stood in 2006. Worldwide, 25 countries have now closed their gap entirely, with the most progress having been made in university education, where women now make up the majority of students in nearly 100 countries.

But progress has not been universal, with 22% of all countries measured continuously over the past ten years seeing an actual widening of the gap between men and women when it comes to education. There is also a marked lack of correlation between getting more women in education and their ability to earn a living particularly through skilled or leadership roles. While women make up the majority of enrolled university students in 97 countries, they comprise the majority of skilled roles in only 68, and in far fewer – four countries – do they hold the majority of leadership positions.

Health and survival, the third pillar, is the one which is closest to parity, at 96%. 40 countries have closed this gap entirely, with five having closed it in the past twelve months. Despite this encouraging increase, overall the Health and Survival gender gap has slightly widened compared to 2006.

Political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured by the Index, is the widest. World-wide only 23% of this gender gap has been closed although this area has also seen the most improvement, up by 9% from 14% in 2006. Only two countries have reached parity in parliament and only 4 have reached parity on ministerial roles.

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.

Regional Analysis

Countries from Europe and Central Asia occupy 14 of the top 20 positions in the index, two more than last year. Of the region’s major economies, Germany and France both climb one place while the United Kingdom’s eight-point gain, which returns it to the same position it held in 2013, can be explained by improved performance in the Economic, Health and Political pillars. Belgium and Denmark have regressed most while Estonia and Slovenia have experienced the most gains. The lowest performing countries from the region are Malta (104), Armenia (105) and Turkey (130) which lost five places despite a slight score increase as other countries moved ahead faster.

In Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines (7) remains the region’s highest-ranked country, followed by New Zealand (10) and Australia (36). These nations are regional outliers as no other nation from the region is part of the top 50. Lao PRD (52), Singapore (54) and Mongolia (56) come next. China’s (91) overall score and rank slightly decreased due to a further drop in the sex ratio at birth. Indonesia (92), Japan (101) and India (108) have all improved compared to last year on their overall score despite some losses in their economic scores. Korea Rep. (115) gained two places this year due to an increase in the Economic pillar. The lowest performing countries from the region are Fiji (121), Iran (141) and Pakistan (144).

Nicaragua (12) which was previously the only country from Latin America and the Caribbean in the top ten loses 6 places this year due to decreases in wage equality and the percentage of women in parliamentary and ministerial positions. There are eleven countries from the region in the top 50, one more than last year. Among the largest economies, Mexico (71) gains 9 places due to improvements in the political pillar while Brazil drops to 85th position as a result of increased wage gaps and lower numbers of women in ministerial roles. The lowest performing countries from the region are Belize (103), Guatemala (106) and Paraguay (107).

In the Middle East and North Africa, Israel (53) and Kuwait (117) are the highest-placed countries in the region. The United Arab Emirates follows in 119th position. Both Kuwait and the UAE lose 4 places this year despite a slight increase in their overall scores due to relatively faster change in countries such as India, Korea. Rep and Zambia. The MENA region is also home to the lowest-ranked country in the index, Yemen, which, at 145th, has remained at the bottom of the index since 2006; but has significantly improved relative to its own past scores.



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