Global Gender Gap Report 2014

In the 9 years of measuring the global gender gap, “the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace”. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014 by the World Economic Forum, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% since 2006 when the Forum first started measuring it.

The 1st Gender Gap Report was published in 2006. These 9 years of data reveal the pattern of change around the world relative to countries’ own past performance and in relation to each other.

People and their talents keep being the key resource that drives local economies. The Global Gender Gap index ranks 142 countries on the gap between women and men in four areas: health, education, economic participation and political empowerment. It aims to understand if countries are distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, regardless of their overall income levels.

This edition of the report finds that, among the 142 countries measured, the gender gap is narrowest in terms of health and survival, standing at 94% globally. Progress, however, has not been even across the four pillars of economy, politics, health and education.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Nicaragua reinforces its position as gender parity leader due to strong performance in the health, education and political gaps. It is one of 10 countries from the region that made the top 50 this year. Among the larger economies, Brazil’s nine-place decline to 71st happened in spite of having successfully closed both its gender gaps in educational attainment and health and survival. Its priority must now be to secure returns on its investment through higher female participation in the labor force. Mexico’s drop to 80th, on the other hand, comes as a result of reduced female representation in politics, but is partially offset by improvements in the labor force participation and income gaps.

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

“Healthy and educated women are likely to have healthier and more educated children, creating a virtuous cycle for any community or country. When the number of women involved in political decision-making reaches a critical mass, their decisions – which take into account the needs of a wider segment of society – lead to more inclusive results”, says Oliver Cann, Director of Public Engagement of the Forum. His interpretation of the report covers the latest research on the benefits of gender equality from a variety of sectors, including the current use of policy tools, business practices and future implications for business leaders and policy-makers.

Here is a great video that provides a framework and a synthesis for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities around the world:


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