Published: Wed, December 19, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Gender equality at work more than 200 years off: WEF

Gender equality at work more than 200 years off: WEF

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released its annual Global Gender Gap Report, revealing that, on average, there is still a 32 percent gap when it comes to gender disparity worldwide. "In fact, India actually widens the gender gap on this subindex this year".

The forum pointed out that while the world has closed 68% of its gender gap, only one pillar - economic opportunity - made progress in contracting the gulf this year.

After years of advances in education, health, and political representation, women registered setbacks in all three areas this year, the WEF said.

"This year's analysis also warns about the possible emergence of new gender gaps in advanced technologies, such as the risks associated with emerging gender gaps in Artificial Intelligence-related skills", the report's authors write.

Ms Jatfors said governments can help spur improvements with equal-pay policies and investment in parental and eldercare infrastructure, and by allowing women legal protections including job security during pregnancy.

Only 34 per cent of global managers are women, and income gaps have been "particularly persistent", with 63 per cent of the global wage gap closed so far.

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The U.S. fell two spots from its ranking 2017. As such, it was the best performer in Asia, boosted by gender equality in education, politics and an improvement in wage equity.

In Asia, the Philippines edged its way into eighth place on the overall global index. Still, in the midterm elections last month, which took place after the survey data was collected, women won a record 102 seats in the U.S. House as of November 19, fuelled by Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump.

To date, only four out of 18 countries in the region have fully closed their Education Attainment gender gap, but more than half of the countries in the region have closed the gender gap for professional and technical workers, indicating a "relatively successful integration of tertiary educated, higher-skilled women into the labour force". While the USA performed better than average for the economic participation ranking, it did particularly badly on the political empowerment indices, coming in at 98th place-just below Pakistan.

Apart from the Philippines, full parity on this indicator is already a reality in Bahamas, Colombia, Jamaica, Lao PDR, and in another 19 countries there are at least 40 percent of women in managerial positions, the WEF said.

"More than ever, societies can not afford to lose out on the skills, ideas and perspectives of half of humanity", said Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the WEF.

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