emfizz.com November 24, 2017

Gender inequality widening after decade of progress - WEF

03 November 2017, 12:28 | Todd Saunders

Workplace gender gap fuels Switzerland's plunge in global index

Worldwide Gender Gap Widens for the First Time in 10 Years

"Conversely weak performance in the report among economies such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are due to economic gender gaps in aspects such as wage parity and the poor political representation of women in parliaments and in ministerial cabinets", Ms Ratcheva explains.

Pay inequality between men and women caused the country's ranking in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report to slip this year, an official of the Geneva-based group said Thursday.

The organization described 2017 as "a bad year in a good decade", noting that the global gender gap will take exactly 100 years to close at the current rate of progress.

The US fell to 49th among the 144 countries ranked, down from 45th last year and 23rd just 11 years ago. "Some countries understand this and they are now seeing dividends from the proactive measures they have taken to address their gender gaps".

WEF data showed the country's ranking declined to 25th in economic participation and opportunity in 2017, from 21st in 2016.

Speaking about Iceland's success and what other countries can learn from it, Magnea Marinósdóttir, Equality Unit, Ministry of Welfare, Iceland said, "the success can be attributed to women taking power and creating alternatives to the male dominant "truths" and making the invisible realities of women visible, most importantly discriminatory practices including sexual harassment and abuse".

Recently, debate arose in the Swiss media over the discrepancy between girls' success at school over boys and their lack of upward mobility in the workplace.

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Saudi Arabia has actually made the most progress in terms of female economic participation since the report began in 2006.

So why the Swiss exception?

Globally, industries that witnessed a high change in hiring of women have also seen an increase in their talent pool, it said. The report said there was significant decrease in gender equality in government positions.

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.

The country to rank first on the gender gap index was Iceland. "That's a message the world needs to absorb", Zahidi said. The health gender gap is larger than it stood in 2006.

In 2017 women earned $6,290 on average, while men earned an average of $9,302.

However, this dominance does not translate into the workplace. More women opt for studies in the humanities or social sciences (half of those at university, for example) which tend to offer fewer advancement opportunities.

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