Global Gender Gap
Nordic Countries Top The World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index
World makes progress on economic, political and education gaps; loses ground on health gaps.
From WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2007
Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday 8 November – Four Nordic countries, Sweden (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Iceland (4) once again top the latest Gender Gap Index released today by the World Economic Forum. All countries in the top 20 made progress relative to their scores last year – some more so than others. Latvia (13) and Lithuania (14) made the biggest advances among the top 20, gaining six and seven places respectively, driven by smaller gender gaps in labour force participation and wages.
The performance of the United States (31) was mixed over the last year – its scores on political empowerment improved but this was offset by a bigger gap on economic participation – causing the United States to lose 6 places relative to its rank in 2006.
Switzerland (40) loses 12 places relative to its position in 2006. The change was the result of a correction made by the UNDP in its calculation of estimated earned income for women and men – the ratio between women’s and men’s incomes is now larger than previously reported (0.61 in 2007 vs 0.9 in 2006). Switzerland’s scores on all other variables remain largely static.
France (51) remains one of the few countries holding the number one ranking on both education and health and has made considerable progress relative to its 70th position in the 2006 ranking. This significant increase is due to an improvement in the ratio between women’s and men’s labour force participation rates as well as the availability of new data on women in skilled employment. Calculations based on the new data show that the proportion of women among “professional and technical workers” as well as the proportion of women among “legislators, senior officials and managers” increased.
In the bottom half of the rankings, countries such as Tunisia (102), Turkey (121) and Morocco (122) not only fall further in the relative rankings but also show a drop in scores relative to their own performance last year. On the other hand, Korea (97), the United Arab Emirates (105) and Saudi Arabia (124) show encouraging improvements in their 2007 scores as compared to their 2006 scores.