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How Close Are Countries to Closing the Gender Gap?


This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz


The latest release of the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report shows that the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on gender parity are lingering on. While the organization put the years left to close the worldwide gender gap at 100 in 2020, that estimate rose to 136 years in 2021 and is only slightly down to 132 years in 2022 and 131 years in 2023.


According to the makers of the report, the cost-of-living crisis as well as the climate emergency, conflict and displacement are hindering recovery from the giant setback the pandemic has been for women.


As for individual countries, Scandinavian nations were rated as having come closest to closing the gender gap, which is calculated taking into account economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. Leader Iceland improved its score over the course of the last year to 0.912 after having surpassed 0.9 out of 1 on the index last year. New Zealand, Germany, Nicaragua, Namibia, Lithuania, Belgium, Ireland and Rwanda were the highest-rated non-Scandinavian countries. The U.S. came in rank 43.


Italy was one of the lowest-rated EU nations in rank 79 – only undercut by Hungary, Romania, Greece and Cyprus - and Japan was the lowest-ranked high-income country outside the Gulf states in rank 125. China ranked slightly higher in rank 107, while one of the largest nations on Earth, India, was found towards the bottom of the ranking in spot 127 spots out of 146. Reasons included the country’s massive gap on economic participation but also one of the largest health and survival gaps for women and girls.


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