Gender pay gap won't be closed for another 217 years

World Economic Forum: Women will cover gender pay gap in two centuries

An analysis of Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) over the past years points to a continued under-use of the ever-increasing numbers of educated women than ever before, the report said.

With an average remaining gender gap of 34 percent, South Asia is the second-lowest scoring region on this year's Global Gender Gap Index, ahead of the Middle East and North Africa and behind Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report.

It's also important to distinguish between the time it will take to close the economic gender gap and the size of that gap on an absolute level.

"According to the report out of the 142 countries covered by the Index both this year and last year, 82 countries have increased their overall gender gap score compared to last year, while 60 have seen it decrease".

Given the current rate of change, the Global Gender Gap Report estimates it will take 217 years to close the economic gender gap. In other words, almost every living women will be dead by the time gender equality has been realized.

Sri Lanka scored high in educational attainment and health and survival but the low scores in Economic Participation and Opportunity and political empowerment brought down the overall score.

Behind the decline is mainly a widening of the gender gap across Economic Opportunity and Political Empowerment. India not just ranks worse among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, with whom it claims to stand in competition in different global sectors, but also two of its neighbours - Bangladesh and Myanmar. And pointing to the obvious in the subindex for "Years with a female head of state", the report notes that Morocco has made zero progress. The forum found that 58 percent of that gap, on a global level, has already been closed; although there's still a long way to go, that number indicates that the global community is more than halfway along the road to "perfect" gender equality in all areas. The country has ranked seventh in the political empowerment index, shows the report by the Geneva-based WEF.

No doubt, the report states, India succeeded "in fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps for the second year running, and, for the first time has almost closed its tertiary education gender gap", but regrets, "It continues to rank fourth-lowest in the world on health and survival, remaining the world's least-improved country on this subindex over the past decade".

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