Gender gap grows again after a decade

Casey Dawson
November 4, 2017

But since then women's steady advances in the areas of education, health and political representation have plateaued, and for the fourth year running, equality in the workplace has slipped further from view.

Japan was placed at 114th in the World Economic Forum's global gender equality rankings for 2017 released Thursday, down from 111th past year and the worst standing among the Group of Seven major economies.

The gap between men and women in economic power, education, health and political clout has widened for the first time in more than a decade, according to the World Economic Forum.

It is the second year in a row that the Swiss non-profit has recorded worsening economic inequality, which is calculated by measuring how many men and women participate in the labour force, their earned incomes and their job advancement.

"Gender equality is both a moral and economic imperative".

On current trends, the report says, "the overall global gender gap can be closed in exactly 100 years across the 106 countries covered since the inception of the report, compared to 83 years last year".

Women will have to wait 217 years before they earn as much as men and have equal representation in the workplace, research said, revealing the widest gap in nearly a decade. India ranks 139th among 144 countries on this parameter this year.

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But it continues to lag behind in economic participation and opportunities for women in particular.

The estimated time needed to ensure full equality in the workplace meanwhile has jumped from 80 years in 2014 to 170 years last year to 217 years now, according to the report. Iceland tops the list with a 12% gender gap across all the WEF's measures.

And the situation varies greatly from country to country and region to region.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 11th place overall, up from 17th place a year ago and 70th place in 2006. "Some countries understand this and they are now seeing dividends from the proactive measures they have taken to address their gender gaps", Zahidi said.

Yemen, then Pakistan, Syria, Chad and Iran, ranked lowest.

The U.S. fell four places to 49th place among all the countries ranked, which places us at only 77% of the way to gender parity in economic opportunity.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 11th place overall, up from 17th place a year ago and 70th place in 2006. They're buoyant in the parity rankings overall, but only because they have risen in other areas-for instance, there are more women in senior political positions.

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