Economic gender gap may take 170 years to close
THE economic gender gap could take 170 years to close after progress towards parity between the sexes suffered “a dramatic slowdown”, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said.
Despite the fact women have made major gains in educational achievement – catching or surpassing men in 95 countries – women still earn less in exchange for longer hours, are less likely to have a job, and are far less likely to have a senior or managerial post, the report said.
The Geneva-based WEF has tracked the disparities between the sexes since 2006 in four areas: education, health, economic opportunity and political empowerment.
Economics was the only area where progress was being reversed, said the WEF, which is best known for the annual gathering of politicians and business leaders in the Swiss alpine resort town of Davos.
“Progress towards parity in the key economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap – which stands at 59 percent – now larger than at any point since 2008,” the WEF report said.
Western Europe, “could expect to close its gender gap within 47 years”, while in South Asia it could take more than 1000 years “unless efforts are accelerated,” the WEF said.
Overall, Nordic countries dominated the top of the table for gender parity: Men and women were most equal in Iceland followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden. –