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World’s progress to gender equality



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THE World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released the Global Gender Gap Report 2018. The index was first published in 2006 as a framework for measur­ing gender disparities in countries. Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society. Countries are ranked according to economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political em­powerment. 149 countries were surveyed in 2018 reports.

In major economies, France ranked 12th, Germany 14th, and the United States 51st. In Asia, the Philippines ranked 8th, China 103rd, Japan 110th and South Korea 115th. The forum says progress can be seen in more than half of the countries, but a major gap remains worldwide in politics and economics.

Iceland became the most gen­der-equal in the world for the 10th consecutive year. It was followed by other Nordic countries, with Norway in second, Sweden in third and Finland in fourth place. Nordic countries benefit from a developed welfare state and fos­ter forward-thinking. Affordable child care benefits everyone.

Women in Iceland aren’t faced with a choice between initiatives, which support women joining, or returning to, the workplace, work or raising children. Their parental leave policies, women and men both get 90 days leave, help to remove the burden of childrearing from mothers.

In Norway, mothers and fathers have been obliged to take at least 14 weeks employment leave fol­lowing the birth of a child. Norway enjoys a near-even distribution of male and female workers, with many women in position of power. Norway’s prime minister, minister of finance and minister of foreign affairs are all female, while women make up 41% of the C-suite (C-level executive; CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, etc of corporate officers and directors).

(To be continued)