Gender pay parity is 202 years away, WEF says

Robots and Lack of Child Care Leave Women's Wages Centuries Behind

To date, only four out of 18 countries in the region have fully closed their Education Attainment gender gap, but more than half of the countries in the region have closed the gender gap for professional and technical workers, indicating a "relatively successful integration of tertiary educated, higher-skilled women into the labour force".

According to the report, Laos, in southeast Asia, was the closest to achieving parity with women earning 91 per cent of what men were paid. To date, said the WEF, there was still a 32pc average gender gap that remained to be closed.

It will take 108 years to close the global gender gap at the current rate, and 202 years to do so in the workplace, according to the report. The gender gap in the workplace meanwhile will take over 2 centuries more to close.

Japan received poor marks for political empowerment, such as the proportions of women among lawmakers and Cabinet ministers.

The annual report uses the Global Gender Gap Index to see how countries covered in it compare in terms of gender equality in four key areas - economic participation and opportunities, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

"India maintains a stable ranking this year, but its gap is directionally larger this year, with a 33 per cent gap yet to be bridged", says the report, titled Measuring the Global Gender Gap.

The report covered 149 countries and found the distance towards gender parity (weighted by population) is at 68%, representing a minor improvement from previous year.

South Asia was the second-lowest ranking region in the index, with only 65 per cent of its gender gap now closed. The Philippines actually slid considerably in the health and survival category, when it ranked first 12 years ago in the first year of the report among 115 countries, and now at 42nd out of 149 countries.

The island nation has a culture of political empowerment and boasts many strong female role models.

Women with AI skills are more likely to be employed as data analysts and information managers, while men tend to land in more lucrative and senior positions such as engineering heads and chief executives.

The level of estimated earned income, by purchasing power, was $52,590 for men and $24,054 for women.

There are still 44 countries where more than 20% of women are illiterate.

"In an era when human skills are increasingly important and complementary to technology, the world can not afford to deprive itself of women's talent in sectors in which talent is already scarce", said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

The WEF has been trying to gauge gender-based disparities since 2006, when its first Gender Gap Index was published.

Iceland had the smallest gender gap (0.858), followed by Norway (0.835) and Sweden (0.822).

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