Nordic countries still most gender-equal societies | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.11.2015
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Nordic countries still most gender-equal societies

The gap between men and women in health, education, economic opportunity and political empowerment has narrowed in the past 10 years. But the pace of improvements is slow, the latest Gender Gap Report points out.

The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report 2015 revealed Thursday that the gap in men's and women's earnings had closed by only 3 percent over the past 10 years despite an additional quarter of a billion female employees entering the global workforce since 2006.

Extrapolating that slow trajectory suggested it would take the world another 118 years (until 2133) to close the gap completely.

The report also highlighted a marked lack of correlation between getting more women in education and their ability "to earn a living through skilled or leadership roles."

While most progress was made in closing the gap with regard to access to health services, a fourth pillar measured by WEF's index, political empowerment, showed the biggest discrepancies.

Mixed picture

Only two nations out of the 145 countries surveyed reached gender parity in parliament and only four nations reached parity on ministerial roles.

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Gender wage gap in Germany

"We need to create a world where women's contributions and ideals are as valued as those of men," WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said in a statement. "Gender parity in our thinking and actions will be critical in helping to ensure that the future is served by humanity and not threatened by it."

Nordic nations remain the most gender-equal societies in the world, with the table led by Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden, and Germany ending up in 11th position.

Of the 109 countries continuously covered in the report, 103 have narrowed their gender gaps overall, while six (Sri Lanka, Mali, Croatia, the Slovak Republic, Jordan and Iran) have seen prospects for women get worse.

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