Bridging gender equality gap will take 81 years, says world report

28 Oct 2014

Little encouragement has been shown in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global gender diversity report, after it estimated we might not see complete parity between the sexes until 2095.

In what would confirm this worrying prediction, the WEF has found that in the nine years since it has produced the gender gap report, there has been little improvement globally for women in the workplace.

The report found that in the 146 countries surveyed, the gap that remains the widest between men and women exists in political empowerment, which was shown to be standing at just 21pc worldwide.

Overall, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60pc worldwide, having closed by 4pc from 56pc in 2006, when the WEF first started measuring the gap. According to WEF’s calculations, if this trend continues, it will take 81 years for this gap to close.

However, there have been encouraging signs from the report which showed that in two areas – health and survival, as well as educational attainment – the gap is close to being closed at 96pc and 94pc, respectively.

Ireland ranks high, but falls from 2013

Meanwhile, Ireland can hold its head somewhat highly. The country has been ranked as the eighth (down two places from last year’s report) best country in the world attempting to close the inequality gap between men and women.

A newcomer to the top 10 is the small central African nation of Rwanda, which is now seventh in the world, having never before been in the WEF’s index.

Head of the Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum and lead author of the report, Saadia Zahidi, said while more women and more men have joined the workforce over the last decade, more women than men entered the labour force in 49 countries.

“In the case of politics, globally, there are now 26pc more female parliamentarians and 50pc more female ministers than nine years ago,” Zahidi added.

“These are far-reaching changes – for economies and national cultures, however, it is clear that much work still remains to be done, and that the pace of change must in some areas be accelerated.”

Ireland 2013 vs Ireland 2014

Diversity across the globe – interactive map


Perspectives from across the world

Gender parity image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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