26 October 2016
Gender inequality in the UK is worse than in developing economies such as Rwanda, Burundi, Nicaragua and Namibia, new research has found.
The Global Gender Gap Report, released by the World Economic Forum, ranked the UK 20th overall on gender equality measured on four sub-indices: economic participation and opportunity (UK rank: 53rd); educational attainment (UK rank: 34th); health and survival (UK rank: 64th); and political empowerment (UK rank: 24th).
In the world of work, the UK was ranked 48th in terms of labour force participation among women; 52nd for wage equality for similar work; 92nd for estimated earned income; 44th for gender parity among legislators, senior officials and managers; and 72nd for equality of gender among professional and technical workers.
The top ten countries for gender equality were Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Rwanda, Ireland, Philippines, Slovenia, New Zealand and Nicaragua.
Jemima Olchawski, Head of Policy and Insight at the Fawcett Society, said: “This report busts the myth that gender inequality is somehow natural or inevitable and highlights how varied performance on closing gender gaps is, across the world, but also within Western Europe.
“It’s unacceptable that Britain is languishing at 53rd in the world for economic participation, is only 24th for political empowerment and performs below average overall compared to our region.
“The moral case for gender equality should be enough alone to motivate us to speed up the pace of change, but with evidence suggesting that improving gender equality could add £150 billion to our GDP it’s also clear that we simply can’t afford to wait.”