Ireland ranks sixth in World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index

11 Mar 2014

The results of the 2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index are in, with the Nordics continuing a streak at the top and Ireland holding its position in the top 10.

The WEF ranking is published in the The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 and gives each of 136 countries a score based on gender equality across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.

For the past five years, Iceland has come out on top as the country with the smallest gender gap and, overall, the Nordics is perhaps the best place to be a woman, with Finland, Norway and Sweden filling out the top 4 and Denmark coming up behind in eighth place.

In at No 5 is the Philippines, the most gender-equal country in Asia, and Ireland sits just outside the top 5 in sixth place, far above the UK at 18th and the US at 23rd.

WEF Global Gender Gap Index – Top 10

  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. Philippines
  6. Ireland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Denmark
  9. Switzerland
  10. Nicaragua

Overall, European countries have done well in closing the gender gap, which has been attributed to policies that address balancing work and family life.

Languishing at the bottom of the table are Iran (130th), Ivory Coast (131st), Mauritania (132nd), Syria (133rd), Chad (134th), Pakistan (135th) and Yemen (136th).

Greatest gender gap seen in politics

Across the world, the gender gap narrowed in 2013 with 86 of 136 countries showing at least a small improvement.

Worldwide, there is 96pc equality in health and 93pc equality in education.

Economy is more varied at 60pc equality, and there are some countries that may exhibit high levels of female participation in the workforce but few at senior level.

In politics, the gender gap is at its widest worldwide, with women occupying about 20pc of leadership roles in political positions. However, this is one area where Ireland excels, ranking in sixth place once again.

Ireland ranks 65th in health, 34th in education and 29th in economy.

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland. You can nominate inspiring women in the fields of STEM via email to or on Twitter to @siliconrepublic.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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