Iceland maintained its lead in gender parity for the eleventh consecutive year and 101 countries of the 149 countries improved their scores on the 2019 gender index, according to the Global Gender Gap report 2020.
The performance of forty eight countries with respect to gender saw no change whereas the tenth percentile countries saw their scores improve more than 3.33 per cent. While 35 countries achieved gender parity in education, 48 countries achieved parity n health. The Global gender Gap report 2020 comes after looking into the progress made by the countries in four dimensions such as economic participation and opportunity, health and Survival, Political Empowerment and Educational Attainment.
In the report, it has been said that it would take 95 years to bridge the gap in political representation with the women holding only 25.2 per cent of parliamentary seats and 21.2 per cent of ministerial positions in 2019. However, it says the “role model effect’ could help in reaping dividends with respect to leadership and wages. The report said that 85 states had no female head of state in the last 50 years.
Despite the role model effect, the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 says that participation of women in the wider labour market has been stalled and financial disparities were increasing. The report reveals that only 55 per cent of women between 15 and 64 years of age are engaged in labour market as opposed to 78 per cent of men. In 72 countries, women are barred from opening bank accounts or obtaining credit. Although parity of 96 per cent in education and 95.7 parity in health are being enjoyed by the women, a major area of concern is of economic participation and access to capital. The report says that this disparity is because they face perennial problem of insufficient care infrastructure and access to capital and also because they have greater representation in roles that are automated. Apart from these, women are less in numbers who enter professional jobs where the wages are high. The report also says that the biggest challenge that in economic gap is women’s under representation in emerging roles. It said that only 12 per cent of women are engaged in clouds computing, 15 per cent in engineering and 26 per cent in Artificial Intelligence, all of which are high paid jobs.
When comparing regions, the Report said that Western Europe has seen the most progress in gender parity with 76.7 per cent. North America comes second with 72.9 per cent and then comes Latin America and the Caribbean with 72.2 per cent. The percentage of performance in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is 71.3 per cent followed by Sub Saharan Africa at 68.2 per cent, South Asia at 66.1 per cent and West Asia and North Africa at 60.5 per cent.