Women will cover gender pay gap in two centuries

The finding comes courtesy World Economic Forum, which concluded in its annual report on gender equality across the globe that, if current trends hold, women worldwide won't achieve workplace and economic parity with men for another 217 years.

While Nordic countries retained the top three spots they held a year ago, led by Iceland.

According to the report, the MENA region ranks lowest on the index with an average gender gap of 40 per cent. The country ranked 108th in the Enrolment in Primary Education indicator.

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

The report's Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to calculated gender gap between women and men in four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.

Iceland topped the world ranking after successfully scoring 88 percent in 2017 on the gender gap index, becoming the best-performing world country for nine years.

In comparison, the USA ranks 49th, with only 72 percent of its gap closed.

No doubt, the report states, India succeeded "in fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps for the second year running, and, for the first time has almost closed its tertiary education gender gap", but regrets, "It continues to rank fourth-lowest in the world on health and survival, remaining the world's least-improved country on this subindex over the past decade".

Sri Lanka scored high in educational attainment and health and survival but the low scores in Economic Participation and Opportunity and political empowerment brought down the overall score.

Even as giving credit to Indira Gandhi for pushing the country towards political empowerment, the report notes, "With more than 50 years having passed since the inauguration of the nation's first female prime minister in 1966, maintaining its global top 20 ranking on the Political Empowerment subindex will require India to make progress on this dimension with a new generation of female political leadership".

Twenty-seven countries around the world increased gender equality in the field of education compared to 24 countries in 2016, and 34 countries increased gender equality in the field of health and survival compared to 38 countries in 2016.

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.

  • Jon Douglas