Japan drops to 114th in gender equality rankings by World Economic Forum

Saul Bowman
November 4, 2017

In its latest annual global gender gap report, the forum assessed 144 countries based on differences between men and women in terms of economic participation in the workforce, education, health and political empowerment. It's the second year that the organization has recorded worsening economic inequality. According to the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2017, the gender gap has, in fact, widened globally.

Women are paid and achieve just over half as much as men in the workplace, the World Economic Forum said, reporting an economic gap of 58 per cent between the sexes.

Women also generally tend to work in lower-paid professions and are less likely to be in highly-paid senior roles in companies.

"Notable recent estimates suggest that economic gender parity could add an additional $250 billion to the GDP of the United Kingdom, $1,750 billion to that of the United States, $550 billion to Japan's, $320 billion to France's and $310 billion to the GDP of Germany", says the report.

According to the report, "out of the 142 countries covered by the Index both this year and last year, 82 countries have increased their overall gender gap score compared to last year, while 60 have seen it decrease".

The country that ranked number one on the list?

The estimated time needed to ensure full equality in the workplace meanwhile has jumped from 80 years in 2014 to 170 years last year to 217 years now, according to the report. The proportion of "unpaid work" per day when it comes to women is far higher than for men.

Globally, it wasn't a good year for closing the gap between men and women.

France's rise is largely thanks to increasing numbers of women in politics, including complete parity among government ministers.

Gender parity is closest in areas of health and education, it says, but significant gaps in economic participation and political empowerment continue to endure across the world.

Overall the U.S. fell four places to take 49th position.

But it continues to lag behind in economic participation and opportunities for women in particular. Women across the world are still, on average, earning less than men by a large amount.

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

But it's not just European countries that scored highly; the top 10 also included Rwanda and Nicaragua. And there are some standout countries that have made rapid improvements ― including Canada, which climbed 19 places for women's progress in politics and wages.

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