Global

Gender equality gap worsens for women

Gender equality gap worsens for women

But since then women's steady advances in the areas of education, health and political representation have plateaued, and for the fourth year running, equality in the workplace has slipped further from view.

New Zealand is among the top ten nations in the world when it comes to gender equality, according to a new global report.

It is the first time that data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has shown a year-on-year worsening of the gender gap since it began charting it in 2006.

The reason for it is said to be less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

"Gender equality is both a moral and economic imperative".

WEF said the global gender gap was widening after a decade of slow progress towards parity, saying it would take another century to bridge the divide, compared with an estimated 83 years last year.

Women fared better in education globally, where equality could be achieved within 13 years.

But politics was also the area where women have made the most advances in recent years, the report said, estimating it will take 99 years to fully rectify the situation. "On average, 66 per cent of women's work in India is unpaid, compared to 12 per cent of men's", the WEF report said.

Although India ranks 15th on the parameter of political empowerment, the report suggests that women need to participate actively in Indian politics to maintain this position.

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Slovenia has the smallest gap in gender earnings - with women there on average earning 80.5% of the male national average.

The report blames a significant decrease in female ministerial positions for the fall - a Freedom of Information request in March revealed that only 27% of all jobs within the Trump administration were taken by women.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 11th place overall, up from 17th place previous year and 70th place in 2006.

The country that ranked number one on the list? Its rank is largely due to high levels of female education, and Prime Minister Theresa May's government has helped the United Kingdom to improve its political score.

Even more than in the workplace, political participation stubbornly lagged behind, with women still accounting for just 23 percent of the world's decision makers, according to the report.

Other countries that improved overall included Bangladesh, which now ranks 47th in the world and the highest in South Asia after increasing female employment in professions.

But it's not just European countries that scored highly; the top 10 also included Rwanda and Nicaragua.

Sub-Saharan African countries made marked improvements in women's health.