Women won't have economic parity with men for 202 years, report says

Women won't have economic parity with men for 202 years, report says


One factor holding women back is their being underrepresented in senior positions, the report said.

The Philippines also recorded a closer gender gap in terms of economic participation and opportunity due to an increase in wage equality for similar work, the WEF said.

There's been "minimal progress" since last year's report in measuring economic participation and opportunity, the WEF said, with the worst-performing countries mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. In terms of political empowerment, the year-on-year deterioration can be partly attributed to the lower tenure of women in head-of-state roles around the world. Pakistan's population was growing at the rate of 1.93pc per annum, the report pointed out. When it comes to women in parliament, these Western economies - which collectively have closed 41 per cent of the gap - saw progress reverse in 2018. However, this progress was insufficiently rapid to avoid the country being overtaken by a number of faster-improving countries at the lower end of the index's global rankings, the report added. The report says this may be because women often undertake unpaid work such as caring for children.

Only in the area of economic opportunity did the gender gap narrow somewhat, although there is not much to celebrate, with the global wage gap narrowing to almost 51 per cent. Women have as much access to financial services as men in just 60 percent of the countries and to land ownership in just 42 percent.

According to the report, the world has closed 68 per cent of its gender gap and at the current rate of change, it will take 108 years to close the overall gender gap and 202 years to bring about parity in the workplace.

At this pace it'll take longer to close the global gap between the sexes, the authors write.

No country has closed the pay gap yet, WEF said, using data from institutions such as the International Labour Organization, United Nations Development Programme and World Health Organization.

When it came to the breakdown of what types of jobs men and women would have in AI, women were more likely to be employed as data analysts, researchers, information managers, and teachers.

In economic participation and opportunity, the income parity index stood at 0.532, lower than the global average of 0.632.

According to the report, the largest gender gap is in the political realm, with a global average of 77.1%. The country has closed almost 40 per cent of its gender gap on this sub-index.

The WEF, known for its annual meeting of world leaders in Davos, attributed South Korea's lowly ranking on closing its gender gap to its lower positions in two of the subindexes.

Iceland was the most equal country in terms of political roles, but there was still a 33 per cent gap that widened compared to past year.

  • Terrell Bush