The Global Gap Gender Index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework to capture the size of gender-based gaps and track their progress over time. The 2018 report was carried out on 149 countries, with an index of Participation and Economic Opportunities, Achievement of Education, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment, and Political Empowerment — and provided a ranking of countries that enabled effective comparisons across regions and in income groups. Ranking is designed to create global awareness of the challenges posed by gender disparities, and opportunities created by reducing them. Indonesia ranks 85th on gender equality from 149 countries.
The main findings of the 2018 report include:
• Globally, the average (population-weighted) distance completed to parity is at 68.0%, which is a marginal improvement over last year. In other words, to date there is still a 32.0% average gender gap that remains to be closed. The directionally positive average trend registered this year is supported by improvements in 89 of the 144 countries covered both this year and last year.
• Across the four subindexes, on average, the largest gender disparity is on Political Empowerment, which today maintains a gap of 77.1%. The Economic Participation and Opportunity gap is the second-largest at 41.9%, while the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival gaps are significantly lower at 4.4% and 4.6%, respectively. Among them, on average, only the Economic Participation and Opportunity gap has slightly reduced since last year.
• When it comes to political and economic leadership, the world still has a long way to go. Across the 149 countries assessed, there are just 17 that currently have women as heads of state, while, on average, just 18% of ministers and 24% of parliamentarians globally are women. Similarly, women hold just 34% of managerial positions across the countries where data is available, and less than 7% in the four worst-performing countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan).
• In terms of broader economic power, gaps in control of financial assets and in time spent on unpaid tasks continue to preserve economic disparities between men and women. Women have as much access to financial services as men in just 60% of the countries and to land ownership in just 42% of the countries assessed.
• Although average progress on gender parity in education is relatively more advanced than in other aspects, there are still 44 countries where over 20% of women are illiterate. Similarly, near-parity in higher education enrolment rates often mask low participation of both men and women.
• Projecting current trends into the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 108 years across the 106 countries covered since the first edition of the report. The most challenging gender gaps to close are the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take 202 and 107 years to close respectively.
• The most gender-equal country to date is Iceland. It has closed over 85% of its overall gender gap. Iceland is followed by Norway (83.5%), Sweden and Finland (82.2%). Although dominated by Nordic countries, the top ten also features a Latin American country (Nicaragua, 5th), two Sub-Saharan African Countries (Rwanda, 6th, and Namibia, 10th) and a country from East Asia (Philippines (8th). The top ten is completed by New Zealand (7th) and Ireland (9th).
• All eight geographical regions assessed in the report have achieved at least 60% gender parity, and two have progressed above 70%. Western Europe is, on average, the region with the highest level of gender parity (75.8%). North America (72.5%) is second and Latin America (70.8%) is third. They are followed by Eastern Europe and Central Asia (70.7%), East Asia and the Pacific (68.3%), Sub-Saharan Africa (66.3%), South Asia (65.8%) and the Middle East and North Africa (60.2%).
• Similarly, if current rates were to be maintained in the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 61 years in Western Europe, 70 years in South Asia, 74 years in Latin America and the Caribbean, 135 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, 124 years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 153 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 171 years in East Asia and the Pacific, and 165 years in North America.