If a recent report from World Economic Forum (WEF) is to be believed then it would take another 217 years for women to get parity with men in terms of work wages and employment opportunities. What is more alarming that rather than seeing a decrease in numbers, the projected time has significantly risen in the past year. The report prepared by the Switzerland-based nonprofit foundation took economic opportunities, education, health and political participation into consideration while ranking at least 144 countries.
In 2016, the WEF researchers predicted that it would take 83 years to close down the overall gender gap but the report of 2017 says it will take no less than 100 years to end it. Among the 144 nations, Iceland sits at the top of the global gender gap rankings, closely followed by Norway. Finland lies at the third rank while interestingly, African country Rwanda is ranked at fourth spot. The top 10 of the list is completed with Asian nation Philippines.
On another hand, Yemen sits at the very bottom when gender parity is discussed. Several African and Asian countries have occupied the bottom 10 places on the global gender gap list. Jordan ranks at 135th, followed by Morocco and Lebanon. Slowly reforming Saudi Arabia is placed at 138 while another Muslim-dominant country Mali follows next. Along with Yemen, Syria and Pakistan occupy the bottom three places in the rankings.
The World Economic Forum’s head of education, gender and work, Saadia Zahidi said, “In 2017 we should not be seeing progress towards gender parity shift into reverse. Gender equality is both a moral and economic imperative. Some countries understand this and they are now seeing dividends from the proactive measures they have taken to address their gender gaps.”
According to the WEF report, if the economic gender gap successfully comes to an end then several top nations would see an unbelievable commercial windfall. It was suggested that the world’s most populous country China could add a whopping $2.5 trillion to its GDP while the United States will see at least $1,750 billion added to their coffers. European neighbours France and Germany were projected to benefit $300 billion each and United Kingdom was estimated to collect $250 billion.