Latvia ranked 20th in the world in gender equality index

Friday, 03 Nov, 2017

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.

WEF said the global gender gap was widening after a decade of slow progress towards parity, saying it would take another century to bridge the divide, compared with an estimated 83 years last year.

"Every P100 men earn, women earn P76, which is quite shocking if you think about that", Leopold told ANC. It has successfully closed more than 87% of its overall gender gap, the report revealed.

Despite the decline, Leopold highlighted how women in the Philippines play strongly in politics and the economy. While income levels are rising, women are not sharing equally in the benefits, even in the most affluent countries. "Gender equality is both a moral and economic imperative", said Saadia Zahidi, head of education, gender and work at WEF. That means women the world over are paid less and have fewer opportunities at work than their male counterparts.

Iceland has the world's smallest gender gap.

Among Arab countries, Tunisia is the highest ranked at 117, followed by the UAE at 120 and Bahrain at 126.

According to the report, no country has achieved gender parity when it comes to economic opportunities and work.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 11 place overall, up from 17th place past year and 70th place in 2006.

The picture is not all bleak: the march towards gender equality in education could reach the finish line within a mere 13 years, it said.

"The workplace gender gap will now not be closed for 217 years, the report estimates", the WEF said. The political dimension holds the widest gap but is also exhibiting the most progress, despite a slowdown this year.

Looking at the individual pillars of the index, the report finds that in 2017, the 27 countries have now closed the gender gap in educational attainment, three more countries than previous year.

"A variety of models and empirical studies have suggested that improving gender parity may result in significant economic dividends to countries closing their gender gaps".

The further away the score is from 0, the higher the "distance to parity" in the country for that sub index appears to be.

Since last year's report, Russian Federation climbed four spots in the ranking to 71, buoyed by a higher representation of women in government.

This year's report sees no new entrants to the top 10, which is dominated by smaller Western European countries, and particularly the Nordics with Iceland, Finland, and Norway occupying the top three positions.