Iran was one of the countries that ranked near the bottom in a new gender gap survey.
According to a new study, no country in the world has yet achieved gender equality but the majority of them have made slow progress on closing gaps.
The World Economic Forum said in its annual Global Gender Gap Report that great progress was made in closing the gap in healthcare and education between women and men over the past six years.
But it also shows that women continue to struggle more than men to get top jobs and political decision-making positions.
Overall, 88 percent of the countries covered in 2006-2012 have improved their performance, while 12 percent have widening gaps.
The report said that, on average, more than 96 percent of the gap in health outcomes and 93 percent of the gap in educational attainment have been closed.
However, only 60 percent of the gap in economic participation and 20 percent of the gap in political empowerment has been closed.
The study covers 135 countries representing more than 90 percent of the world's population.
It was released hours after the failure of a European Commission proposal to set a 40-percent quota for women on the boards of listed companies.
The report showed that Nordic countries are doing the best job of closing the gender gap.
Kazakhstan, ranked 31, moves up 18 places from its ranking last year due to a decrease in the gender wage gap and an increase in the percentage of women in parliament and ministerial positions.
Moldova fell six places to the 45th on the ranking, mainly driven by losses in economic participation and opportunity.
Croatia gains one place to reach the 49th position with a minor improvement in the representation of women in ministerial posts.
Serbia entered the Index for the first time in 50th position.
Kyrgyzstan fell ten places to take 54th position, primarily due to a drop in economic participation and opportunity, as well as educational attainment and health.
The country is followed by Russia, which slips down to 59th position due to declines in economic participation and political empowerment.
Macedonia moves down eight places to 61st rank. The country's improvement in the percentage of women in ministerial positions is balanced out by decreases in perceived wage equality and estimated earned income.
Ukraine, one of the 20 lowest performing countries on the political empowerment subindex, remains in 64th place despite a slight overall improvement in score.
Romania is in 67th position.
Georgia has risen one place to 85th position. A decrease in its educational attainment score is balanced out by improvements in economic participation, health, and political empowerment.
Albania ranks 91st, slipping down 13 spots from the combined effect of lower scores in perceived wage equality, estimated earned income, secondary education, and the percentage of women parliamentarians.
Armenia falls eight places, ranking 92nd due a significant decrease in the estimated earned income ratio.
Although Tajikistan remains at 96th, it shows a slight increase in its overall score.
Azerbaijan slips eight spots to 99th position, partly due to decreases in secondary and tertiary education.
Near the bottom of the ranking, Iran slips to the 127th position due to a worsening of the estimated earned income ratio.
Pakistan loses one place to 134th position due to a worsening in the perceived wage equality.
With reporting by AFP
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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