Gender equality in SA is sliding - WEF

Gender equality in SA is sliding - WEF

Gender equality in SA is sliding - WEF

At the top of the Global Gender Gap Index is Iceland which has closed almost 88 percent of its gap and it has been the world's most gender-equal country for nine years, said WEF.

Behind the decline is a widening of the gender gap across all four of the report's pillars: educational attainment; health and survival; economic opportunity and political empowerment, said the Geneva-based WEF.

New Zealand has closed 79 percent of its overall gender pay gap, putting it at ninth place.

The Global Gender Gap Report was compiled online in 144 countries, including in India, covering 12 industries.

For the first time since 2006, Russian women and men also have the same health expectancy and Russia is also in the top-50 in terms of economic and education ratings. According to the report, since 2006 Slovenia has closed approximately 18 per cent of its overall gender gap, making it one of the fastest-improving countries globally.

The US drops four places to 49, while at the lower end of the group, no fewer than six countries rank at or above 100.

Iceland has the world's smallest gender gap. "To harness this opportunity for growth, all countries across Eastern Europe can do more to ensure that their policies are up to date and able to alleviate the current care burden on women and ensure equitable treatment across the region's labour markets", Ms Ratcheva continues.

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In case of China, 44 per cent of women's work is unpaid, while for men the figure stood at 19 per cent.

Calling it "a bad year in a good decade", the WEF said that gender equality had decreased in the workplace and politics, especially in some countries with big populations like China and India, which affected the weighted totals.

This year's report sees no new entrants to the top 10, which is dominated by smaller Western European countries, and particularly the Nordics with Iceland, Finland, and Norway occupying the top three positions.

Further, it said, sectors like energy and mining, manufacturing and real estate show the highest change in the percentage of the female hiring rate in the last 10 years.

Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it says, "it will not now be closed for another 217 years".

About 23 per cent of the political gap has been closed, which is unchanged since a year ago against a long-term trend of slow but steady improvement.

The picture is not all bleak: the march towards gender equality in education could reach the finish line within a mere 13 years, it said. "Also, keeping in mind all the reforms happening at the moment, next year's report results seem to be even more promising".

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