Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide.
First uptick since 2006
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report — which analyzes disparities in health, education, economy, and politics — found that the overall average gender gap rose to 32%, up from 31.7% in 2016. It’s a fractional increase, but it’s the first uptick since the Forum began tracking gender inequality in 2006, signalling that efforts by the public and private sectors to prioritize gender parity have stalled.
This does not auger well for economies.
Countries, communities, and economies cannot prosper without the equal participation of both women and men. Yet, women face greater hurdles in almost all spheres of economic activity, from access to finance and assets to technology and peer-to-peer networks. The annual credit gap for female entrepreneurs, for example, is nearly $300 billion. This impedes women’s ability to start or expand their businesses, reducing opportunities to create jobs or boost economies.
About the Report
The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition also analyses the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations.