Gender Equality Got Worse for Women in 2017

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2017, the gender gap between men and women has gotten bigger—in education, health, politics and economics—for the first time since the organization began collecting the data in 2006. The report ranks 144 countries based on their progress in gender equality.

Report Highlights

  • Economic gender parity could add $250 billion to the GDP of the U.K., $1,750 billion to the GDP of the U.S., and $2.5 trillion to China’s GDP
  • At the current rate, the overall gender gap will take 100 years to close; the gender gap in the workplace will take 217 years to close
  • The U.S. ranks 49th on the list in 2017, dropping from the 45th slot a year ago and the 23rd slot in 2006
  • The top 5 countries, from first to fifth, are: Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden

The report specifies that within the studied countries, 96 percent of the health gap, 95 percent of the educational gap, 58 percent of the economic participation gap and 23 percent of the political gap have been closed.

“Overcoming the biases—unseen or otherwise—that are keeping us from closing the gender gap represents an overwhelming economic as well as moral imperative,” stated WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

Gender equality is a fundamental responsibility that requires dedicated work and whose benefits cannot be underestimated. The WEF report illustrates that we are in many ways standing still or moving backwards in gender equality around the world, and that only through proactivity and accountability can we create and preserve true change.

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