Global Gender Gap Report reveals slow progress on economic equality and political participation

New York To mark the launch of the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap Report – which measures inequality of outcomes between men and women in health and survival, educational attainment, economic participation, and political empowerment – Deputy Executive Director John Hendra participated in a panel discussion on 30 October in New York.

According to the 2013 report, 86 out of 133 countries improved their gender gap between 2012 and 2013, with the lowest disparities globally in Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. But progress remains slow on some dimensions: while the global gender gap in health and survival is almost closed at 96 per cent, and in education at 93 per cent, the global gender gaps for economic equality and political participation are only 60 and 21 per cent closed respectively.

Mr. Hendra joined University of California’s Haas School of Business Professor Laura Tyson, and New America Foundation President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter, on the panel, which was facilitated by the World Economic Forum Head of Gender Parity and Human Capital, Saadia Zahidi, who is also one of the report’s co-authors.

Ms. Tyson, another co-author, stressed the “significant correlation between competiveness and closing gender gaps” and the need for further research to better understand both the causes and consequences of persistent gender parity gaps. Ms. Slaughter highlighted that “the most competitive countries are the ones that most value care”, including the Nordic countries and that we need to “enable men to do what women have traditionally done” to ensure a fairer sharing of unpaid care responsibilities.

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