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Global Gender Gap Report 2017: how are we progressing?


The World Economic Forum today released The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. This report, which has been released annually since 2006, assesses the progress being made towards gender parity.

The report shows that globally, progress with gender parity has gone backwards this year for the first time since its inception in 2006. At its current rate of progress, it is suggested we are 100 years away from reaching gender parity, and 217 years away from reaching parity in the workplace.

New Zealand ranked 9th out of the 144 countries, with a parity score of 0.791, or 79.1 percent.

This score represents a gain of just over 1 percentage point on last year’s result of 0.779 (also 9th), and a gain of just 4 percentage points since 2006, when New Zealand achieved a score of 0.751, and an overall rank of 7th.

Against the four subindexes of the report, New Zealand scored as follows:

1. Economic Participation and Opportunity: parity score of 0.768 (23rd). Up  marginally from it’s score of 0.765 in 2016.

2. Educational Attainment: parity score of 0.998 (43rd) – compared with a score of 0.999 in 2016

3. Health and Survival: parity score of 0.969 (115th) – compared with a score of 0.970 in 2016.

4. Political Empowerment: parity score of 0.430 (12th). Up from 0.390 in 2016.

The greatest disparity for New Zealand lies in ‘economic participation and opportunity’ and ‘political empowerment’. Progress for the former is extremely marginal, with the score suggesting we have closed 76.8 percent of the gender gap for this subindex, compared with 76.5 percent in 2016.

New Zealand’s increase in score and ranking for political empowerment – up from 16th in 2016 to 12th in 2017 – is reflective of improvements in gender parity within ministerial positions, but on the whole remains extremely low. Iceland topped the ranking for this subindex with a parity score of 0.750. These scores reflect changes to 1 June 2017.

In its report, the World Economic Forum stated, “It is our hope that this latest edition of the report will serve as a call to action to governments to accelerate gender equality through bolder policy-making, to businesses to prioritise gender equality as a critical economic and moral imperative and to all of us to become deeply conscious of the choices we make every day that impact gender equality globally. We call upon every reader of this report to join these efforts.”

Iceland once again topped the ranking, with a parity level of 0.878 (where 1.0 = full parity). The UK was ranked 15th (0.770), with Canada 16th (0.769), Australia 35th (0.731), and the United States 49th (0.718).



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