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Women's pay finally equals men's. From 2006

Staff writer |
The gap between men and women in health, education, economic opportunity and political representation has closed by 4% in the past 10 years, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2015.

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In economic terms, the gap has closed by only 3% with progress towards wage equality and labor force parity stalling markedly since 2009/2010.

The slow pace of progress in bridging the gap in economic opportunity between women and men means that women are only now earning the amount men did in 2006, the year that the Global Gender Gap was first produced.

Extrapolating this trajectory suggests that it will take the world another 118 years – or until 2133 – to close the economic gap entirely.

For educational attainment, another of the four pillars in the report, the picture is mixed. Overall, the gender gap now stands at 95%, or 5% away from parity. This is an improvement on the 92% where it stood in 2006.

Worldwide, 25 countries have now closed their gap entirely, with the most progress having been made in university education, where women now make up the majority of students in nearly 100 countries.

But progress has not been universal, with 22% of all countries measured continuously over the past ten years seeing an actual widening of the gap between men and women when it comes to education.

There is also a marked lack of correlation between getting more women in education and their ability to earn a living particularly through skilled or leadership roles.

While women make up the majority of enrolled university students in 97 countries, they comprise the majority of skilled roles in only 68, and in far fewer – four countries – do they hold the majority of leadership positions.

Health and survival, the third pillar, is the one which is closest to parity, at 96%. 40 countries have closed this gap entirely, with five having closed it in the past twelve months. Despite this encouraging increase, overall the Health and Survival gender gap has slightly widened compared to 2006.

Political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured by the Index, is the widest. World-wide only 23% of this gender gap has been closed although this area has also seen the most improvement, up by 9% from 14% in 2006. Only two countries have reached parity in parliament and only 4 have reached parity on ministerial roles.

With no one country having closed its overall gender gap, Nordic nations remain the most gender-equal societies in the world.

As last year, the leading four nations are Iceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Sweden (4) – with Norway overtaking Finland. Denmark (14) and Belgium (19) slipped out of the top ten while Ireland (5) gained three places. Rwanda (6) which entered the Index last year for the first time gained one place.

The Philippines (7) gained back two places consolidating its place in the top ten. Nicaragua (12) is still the highest ranking country from Latin America but drops out of the top ten.

Three new countries join the top ten: Slovenia (9) climbed 14 places, while Switzerland (8) and New Zealand (10) both gain three places.

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