World gender gap ‘narrows’ but Britain is ‘static’
Britain falls behind on gender equality in politics and business, research finds
The global gap between men and women has narrowed slightly, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Britain remains in 18th position out of 136 countries, behind Cuba, Lesotho and South Africa.
Iceland held on to the top position for the fifth consecutive year, with other Nordic countries Finland, Sweden and Norway filling out the top four.
The worst equality rankings went to Chad (134th), Pakistan (135th) and Yemen (136th).
The report measures women’s involvement in politics and the economy, as well as health and education provisions.
Despite a significant improvement in the majority of countries sampled, the UK’s score has barely changed since the first report was compiled in 2006. In fact, the Guardian reports that the country has received “a lower score for political empowerment [resulting in] a slight fall in gender equality since David Cameron became prime minister”.
Britain scored highly on health and education but received low rankings for both economic and political participation, evidence of “Britain's glass ceiling for women”.
It was ranked 71st for helping women to find professional and technical positions. In terms of political participation, the UK came 53rd for getting women into parliament and 59th for securing ministerial jobs.
Although the global gender gap is narrowing, one of the report’s authors, Saadia Zahinim said “change is definitely slow.”
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairperson of the WEF, said countries “need to start thinking of human capital very differently – including how they integrate women into leadership roles.”
“The shift in mindset and practices is not a goal for the future, it is an imperative today,” he said. ·