'World Has To Wait Another 131 Years To Achieve Gender Parity,' Says WEF Report
A new report by the World Economic Forum sheds light on how the world is far away from achieving gender parity. The report said that the world is still 131 years away from attaining gender parity, which means humanity has to wait till 2154 to see a total drop in the overall gender gap.
According to WEF's "Global Gender Gap Report 2023", the overall gender gap has closed by only 0.3% as compared to last year's report.
The annual Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions -- Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.
"Recent years have been marked by major setbacks for gender parity globally, with previous progress disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on women and girls in education and the workforce, followed by economic and geopolitical crises." Saadia Zahidi, director at the WEF, wrote in the report.
The report shows signs of progress in the areas of education. It also found that Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world and has retained this position for the 14th consecutive year. While no country has been able to close its gap completely, Iceland, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Nicaragua, Namibia, and Lithuania have achieved at least 80% parity.
The United States comes in at number 43 with a parity score of 74.8%. The country dropped in the overall ranking from last year when it came in at 27th 76% parity.
Why Is Gender Parity So Difficult to Attain?
Gender parity is prevalent in every sector, but it's more pronounced in the labor market. However, the report marks the re-entering of women in the workforce slightly more than the men, the report notes.
"Accelerating progress towards gender parity will not only improve outcomes for women and girls but benefit economies and societies more widely, reviving growth, boosting innovation, and increasing resilience" it added.
"Today, some parts of the world are seeing partial recoveries while others are experiencing deteriorations as new crises unfold. Global gender gaps in health and education have narrowed over the past year, yet progress on political empowerment is effectively at a standstill, and women’s economic participation has regressed rather than recovered." the report read.
Gender Parity Issues In The States
The US saw one of the biggest declines in its gender parity ranking in the past decade. According to a report by Harvard Business School Review, an executive at a major investment bank said that there were way lesser women in the senior sections of any workplace.
The report also found out that the country needs to focus more on talent acquisition, retention, and engagement if they really want to close the gap.
Dealing With The Gender Gap In The Congress
According to an analysis, the US is about 90 years away from seeing 100% gender parity in Congress. For every woman there are around three men in Congress and by international standards, this metric is simply disastrous.
Diana O'Brien, Professor of Political Science, says that if we can't do anything transformative" then "the thing to do would be to adopt a quota policy."
Another reform that could address the issue of the gender gap is by increasing public funding for campaigns, bringing changes to how people vote in America can actually address the issue of the gender gap. For example, integrating a ranking system in voting could be beneficial in many ways, per Vox.
"In the cities where you see ranked-choice voting, there’s double the women on the city councils. There are 40 percent more women mayors; it also adds more people of color," as per Erin Vilardi, founder of VoteRunLead.
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