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11/21/06

Nordic Countries Top the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index


The report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women.

London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, 21 November The Nordic countries, Sweden (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Iceland (4), top the latest Gender Gap Index released today by the World Economic Forum. Germany (5) completes the top five countries with the smallest "gender gap". Germany has particularly strong scores in the area of political empowerment (6) but displays a weaker performance in the area of economic participation and opportunity (32) deriving, in particular, from a persistent wage gap. EU countries generally perform well in the rankings, with 10 EU members, two of which joined in 2004, in the top 20 positions. The United Kingdom (9) and Ireland (10) both show a strong performance. The United Kingdom displays a particularly strong performance on educational attainment, as one of the 11 countries in the world that have fully closed the gender gap in education, and on political empowerment where it ranks 12th out of the 115 countries. Latvia (19) and Lithuania (20) are some of the new EU members that place well ahead of long-time EU members Austria (26) and Belgium (33), but behind Spain (11) and the Netherlands (12). At the other end of the rankings, Greece (69), France (70), Malta (71), Italy (77) and Cyprus (83) have the lowest rankings in the EU, reflecting, in particular, low levels of political participation by women in decision-making bodies and generally poor scores in terms of economic participation and opportunity, although France’s poor performance in these areas is partially offset as it is one of the 11 countries holding the top spot in closing the education gap and one of 34 countries having closed the health gap.

Switzerland (25) ranks behind some of its neighbours such as Germany (5), but well ahead of others such as France (70) and Italy (77). The United States (22) lags behind many European nations in addition to falling behind Canada (14). The United States performs particularly well on economic participation and opportunity (3) and on health (1), sharing the number one spot in this category with 33 other countries, but lags behind on political empowerment (66). Both New Zealand (7) and Australia (15) rank well in closing the gender gap. The Philippines (6) is distinctive as the only Asian country in the top 10. For highlights of the Gender Gap Report, click here

The report covers all current and candidate European Union countries, 20 from Latin America and the Caribbean, over 20 from sub-Saharan Africa and 10 from the Arab world. Together, the 115 economies cover over 90% of the world’s population. The index mainly uses publicly available "hard data" indicators drawn from international organizations and some qualitative information from the Forum’s own Executive Opinion Survey1.

The Global Gender Gap 2006 Rankings
 

Country Overall Ranking Overall Score      (0 to 1 scale, 0=inequality, 1=equality) Economic participation and opportunity ranking Educational attainment ranking Political empowerment ranking Health and survival ranking
Sweden 1 0.8133 9 22 1 70
Norway 2 0.7994 11 14 2 61
Finland 3 0.7958 8 17 3 1
Iceland 4 0.7813 17 49 4 92
Germany 5 0.7524 32 31 6 36
Philippines 6 0.7516 4 1 16 1
New Zealand 7 0.7509 14 16 11 69
Denmark 8 0.7462 19 1 13 76
United Kingdom 9 0.7365 37 1 12 63
Ireland 10 0.7335 47 1 9 81
Spain 11 0.7319 85 37 5 71
Netherlands 12 0.7250 51 73 10 67
Sri Lanka 13 0.7199 84 52 7 1
Canada 14 0.7165 10 21 33 51
Australia 15 0.7163 12 1 32 57
Croatia 16 0.7145 42 50 18 36
Moldova 17 0.7128 2 36 50 1
South Africa 18 0.7125 79 41 8 59
Latvia 19 0.7090 20 86 21 1
Lithuania 20 0.7077 15 23 39 36
Colombia 21 0.7049 39 13 27 1
United States 22 0.7042 3 65 66 1
Tanzania 23 0.7036 1 97 26 95
Jamaica 24 0.7014 7 1 65 82
Switzerland 25 0.6997 18 78 34 35
Austria 26 0.6986 81 67 14 1
Macedonia 27 0.6982 31 63 28 101
Estonia 28 0.6944 27 15 51 36
Costa Rica 29 0.6936 89 30 15 1
Panama 30 0.6935 44 34 35 47
Kazakhstan 31 0.6928 16 51 69 36
Portugal 32 0.6922 33 56 40 71
Belgium 33 0.6906 54 84 19 1
Botswana 34 0.6897 23 66 47 109
Israel 35 0.6889 46 35 36 83
Uzbekistan* 36 0.6886 6 74 78 55
Bulgaria 37 0.6870 58 55 30 36
Namibia 38 0.6864 57 43 29 93
El Salvador 39 0.6836 73 58 24 1
Thailand 40 0.6832 13 71 89 1
Argentina 41 0.6829 82 28 23 1
Mongolia 42 0.6821 21 19 101 1
Lesotho* 43 0.6807 61 1 41 1
Poland 44 0.6802 50 12 58 36
Trinidad and Tobago 45 0.6797 56 29 46 1
Romania 46 0.6797 30 42 79 36
Ukraine 47 0.6797 24 24 97 1
Uganda 48 0.6796 28 98 22 60
Russian Federation 49 0.6770 22 18 108 36
Slovak Republic 50 0.6757 43 33 77 1
Slovenia 51 0.6745 34 20 88 71
Kyrgyz Republic 52 0.6741 26 32 107 1
Czech Republic 53 0.6712 52 46 70 36
Georgia 54 0.6700 41 27 59 115
Hungary 55 0.6698 48 48 82 36
Luxembourg 56 0.6671 76 1 44 71
Venezuela 57 0.6664 66 61 57 71
Ghana* 58 0.6652 5 94 80 89
Dominican Republic 59 0.6639 78 1 49 1
Peru 60 0.6619 86 70 31 58
Albania* 61 0.6607 38 57 105 110
Nicaragua* 62 0.6566 101 39 25 50
China 63 0.6560 53 77 52 114
Paraguay 64 0.6556 80 82 38 1
Singapore* 65 0.6550 45 85 75 107
Uruguay 66 0.6550 60 46 103 1
Brazil 67 0.6543 63 72 86 1
Indonesia 68 0.6541 67 80 63 88
Greece 69 0.6540 70 45 87 53
France 70 0.6520 88 1 60 1
Malta 71 0.6518 91 25 48 65
Malaysia 72 0.6509 68 62 90 80
Kenya* 73 0.6485 40 88 93 96
Honduras 74 0.6483 99 1 42 1
Mexico 75 0.6462 98 44 45 1
Zimbabwe 76 0.6460 62 87 62 108
Italy 77 0.6456 87 26 72 77
Chile 78 0.6455 90 68 56 1
Japan 79 0.6447 83 59 83 1
Gambia* 80 0.6446 25 106 55 64
Malawi 81 0.6435 36 96 68 106
Ecuador 82 0.6433 92 38 64 1
Cyprus 83 0.6430 75 54 95 84
Madagascar* 84 0.6385 71 75 104 49
Zambia 85 0.6358 64 100 43 102
Kuwait* 86 0.6341 72 40 114 105
Bolivia 87 0.6335 77 89 71 79
Mauritius 88 0.6327 95 64 73 1
Cambodia 89 0.6290 29 105 94 1
Tunisia 90 0.6288 97 76 53 98
Bangladesh 91 0.6269 107 95 17 113
Korea, Rep. 92 0.6157 96 81 84 94
Jordan 93 0.6109 105 69 100 62
Nigeria* 94 0.6104 59 104 99 99
Guatemala* 95 0.6066 104 91 54 1
Angola 96 0.6038 69 107 81 1
Algeria 97 0.6018 103 83 98 78
India 98 0.6010 110 102 20 103
Mali 99 0.5994 35 111 67 91
Ethiopia 100 0.5945 74 108 61 87
United Arab Emirates 101 0.5919 109 60 112 100
Bahrain 102 0.5894 111 53 110 104
Cameroon 103 0.5865 94 101 85 97
Burkina Faso 104 0.5853 49 113 74 68
Turkey 105 0.5850 106 92 96 85
Mauritania 106 0.5833 93 103 106 1
Morocco 107 0.5826 102 99 92 90
Iran
see data
108 0.5802 113 79 109 52
Egypt 109 0.5785 108 90 111 66
Benin* 110 0.5778 55 114 76 86
Nepal 111 0.5477 100 109 102 111
Pakistan 112 0.5433 112 110 37 112
Chad 113 0.5246 65 115 91 56
Saudi Arabia 114 0.5241 115 93 115 54
Yemen 115 0.4762 114 112 113 48

Download the full Global Gender Gap Report 2006 Index in PDF or Excel format.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 includes an innovative new methodology including detailed profiles of each economy that provide insight into the economic, legal and social aspects of the gender gap. The Report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women:

1) Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
2) Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
3) Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
4) Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

"The World Economic Forum is an organization integrating all leaders of global society. In this respect, we put strong emphasis on our Women Leaders Programme and the Global Gender Gap Report. This study provides a unique benchmarking tool to assess the size of the gender gap based on economic, political, educational and health-based criteria. Our aim is to allow both high-ranking and low-ranking countries to identify their strengths and weaknesses in an area of critical importance for the development process," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

This year marks an important progression in the Report’s methodology, with the adoption of a new tool that focuses on the relative size of the gender gap rather than levels of women’s empowerment and access. The new methodology is the result of collaboration between Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, Laura D. Tyson, Dean of the London Business School and Saadia Zahidi, Head of the World Economic Forum’s Women Leaders Programme.

"The new index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities. Thus, the index does not penalize those countries that have low levels of education overall, but rather those where the distribution of education is uneven between women and men," said Ricardo Hausmann.

The report also provides some evidence on the link between the gender gap and the economic performance of countries. "Our work shows a strong correlation between GDP per capita and the gender gap scores. While this does not imply causality, the possible theoretical underpinnings of this link are quite simple: countries that do not fully capitalize effectively on one-half of their human resources run the risk of undermining their competitive potential. We hope to highlight the economic incentive behind empowering women in addition to promoting equality as a basic human right," added Laura Tyson.

The new methodology reveals some very unique and interesting insights at the global level. "Our index shows that the world (115 countries) has on average closed over 90% of the gender gap in education and in health. On the other hand, the countries covered have closed only a little over 50% of the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity, and only 15% of the gap in political empowerment," said Saadia Zahidi.

 

... Payvand News - 11/21/06 ... --



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