Medicine

Latvia ranked 20th in the world in gender equality index

Latvia ranked 20th in the world in gender equality index

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

India's 2017 ranking is 10 notches below its 2016 ranking.

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. While income levels are rising, women are not sharing equally in the benefits, even in the most affluent countries.

"At the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to close, compared to 83 last year. Some countries understand this and they are now seeing dividends from the proactive measures they have taken to address their gender gaps". "The UAE is now very close to closing its gender gap in educational attainment", the WEF said. The Philippines is also the only Asian country in the top 10 of the rankings.

The organization's annual report tracks the disparities between the sexes in four areas: education, health, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

The WEF collaborated with LinkedIn to delve more deeply into economic data in selected countries, with a focus on gender imbalance by industry.

"Gender equality has to be looked at in a holistic way", Zahidi said.

While a total of 68% of the world's gender gap (which covers several categories, not just wages) is closing, the reversal is driven by declining gender equality in the workplace and political representation. That means women the world over are paid less and have fewer opportunities at work than their male counterparts. India's Health and Survival ranking was 142nd previous year and on political empowerment it ranked 112th.

The reason the Netherlands managed to get 32nd place this year, is because the country is 1st on the list when it comes to gender equality in education.

"Three countries from Eastern Europe are among the top twenty this year: Slovenia (7th), Latvia (20th), as well as Bulgaria (18th) which is also among the most improved economies in this edition of the Global Gender Gap Index", Vesselina Stefanova Ratcheva, WEF's Economist tells Emerging Europe.

Political empowerment has the widest gender gap with only Iceland having closed more than 70 percent of the gap.

The top spots in the gender gap index were dominated by Scandinavian countries, with Iceland placed at first, Finland at second and Norway at third.

The United States meanwhile dropped four spots to 49th place due to women's dwindling political representation, with a "significant decrease in gender parity in ministerial level positions", the report said.


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