WAIT OF 217 YEARS FOR GENDER PAY PARITY
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 2, (Agencies): Kuwait ranked 129th out of 144 countries with a score of 0.628 in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2017. Last year, the global ranking of Kuwait was 128th out of 144 countries with a score of 0.624.
The ranking of each country is based on four factors: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Kuwait ranked 125th with a score of 0.518 in economic participation and opportunity, 52nd with a score of 0.996 in educational attainment, 117th with a score of 0.969 in health and survival, and 141st with a score of 0.027 in political empowerment.
The World Economic Forum published the report for the first time in 2006. At the time, the overall ranking of Kuwait was 86th out of 115 countries with a score of 0.634. It ranked 72nd with a score of 0.577 in economic participation and opportunity, 41st with a score of 0.993 in educational attainment, 105th with a score of 0.961 in health and survival, and 114th with a score of 0.005 in political empowerment.
According to this year’s report, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the lowest among the regions; recording an average remaining gender gap of 40 percent.
Also, two GCC countries — the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — joined the ranks of best-performing countries in the MENA region with global ranking of 120th and 126th respectively.
In addition, two of the five countries which ranked the lowest in political empowerment globally are from the GCC — Kuwait and Qatar. Women will, meanwhile, have to wait 217 years before they earn as much as men and have equal representation in the workplace, research said, revealing the widest gap in almost a decade.
Women are paid and achieve just over half as much as men in the workplace, the World Economic Forum said, reporting an economic gap of 58 percent between the sexes. “In 2017 we should not be seeing progress towards gender parity shift into reverse,” said Saadia Zahidi, WEF’s head of education, gender and work. “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.”
It is the second year in a row that the Swiss non-profit has recorded worsening economic inequality, which is calculated by measuring how many men and women participate in the labour force, their earned incomes and their job advancement.
Last year, WEF said women would achieve economic equality in 170 years, down from 118 years in 2015. No country has closed the pay gap, WEF said, using data from institutions such as the International Labour Organization, United Nations Development Programme and World Health Organization. At the top of the Global Gender Gap Index is Iceland.
Having closed nearly 88 percent of its gap, it has been the world’s most gender-equal country for nine years. The gap between Iceland and the second-placed country, Norway, actually widens as both Norway and third-placed Finland saw their gaps widen this year.
The top five is completed by Rwanda (4) and Sweden (5). The next two countries in the Index, Nicaragua (6) and Slovenia (7), also achieve symbolic milestones this year closing 80 percent of their gaps for the first time. Ireland (8), New Zealand (9) and Philippines (10) make up the top 10. Among the G20 group of countries, France (11) is ranked highest on gender parity, followed by Germany (12), the United Kingdom (15), Canada (16), South Africa (19) and Argentina (34). The US drops four places to 49 while, at the lower end of the group, no fewer than six countries rank at or above 100. These are China (100), India (108), Japan (114), Republic of Korea (118), Turkey (131) and Saudi Arabia (138).
Looking at the individual pillars of the Index, the report finds that in 2017 that 27 countries have now closed the gender gap in Educational Attainment; three more countries than last year. A total of 34 countries — four less than last year — have closed their Health and Survival gender gaps. Only six countries have closed the gap in both of these pillars.
In Economic Participation and Opportunity, no country has fully closed the gender gap but 13 countries (two more than last year) have closed more than 80 percent of their gap. Political Empowerment has the widest gender gap with only Iceland having closed more than 70 percent of the gap.
Four countries have crossed the 50 percent threshold and 34 countries have closed less than 10 percent of the gap (five less than last year). Weighted by population, 95 countries rank below the Political Empowerment sub-index world average (0.227) this year. “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,” said Saadia Zahidi, Head of Education, Gender and Work, World Economic Forum.