THE GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT 2013
The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 is published by the World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Index 2013 is the result of collaboration with faculty at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Countries and companies can be competitive only if they develop, attract and retain the best talent, both male and female. While governments have an important role to play in creating the right policy framework for improving women’s access and opportunities, it is also the imperative of companies to create workplaces where the best talent can flourish. Civil society, educators and media also have an important role to play in both empowering women and engaging men in the process.
To mobilize various stakeholders and to keep track of progress, it is important that there are quantitative benchmarks widely available. Since 2006, through the Global Gender Gap Report series, the World Economic Forum has been quantifying the magnitude of genderbased disparities and tracking their progress over time. By providing a comprehensive framework for benchmarking global gender gaps, the Report identifies countries that are role models in dividing their resources equitably between women and men, regardless of the overall resource level.
No single measure can capture the complete situation of half of the world’s population. The Global Gender Gap Index seeks to measure one important aspect of gender equality: the relative gaps between women and men, across a large set of countries and across four key areas: health, education, economics and politics. To complement this information, the Country Profiles contain a comprehensive set of supporting information that provides the broader context on gender parity laws, social norms, policies and outcomes within a country.
Yet, much more needs to be done to address an issue that is relevant to our collective social and economic progress. There is not one path to parity, but many. Cash transfer programmes, equal access to credit and financial services, parental leave, affordable childcare facilities, innovative hiring process, redesigned career paths and meaningful mentoring programmes are but a few of the types of changes that must be made.
The Index is designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities in those countries. We do this in order to make the Global Gender Gap Index independent from the countries’ levels of development. For example, rich countries, generally speaking, are able to offer more education and health opportunities to all
members of society, which is often reflected in measures of education levels (although this is quite independent of the gender-related issues faced by each country at its own level of income). The Global Gender Gap Index, however, rewards countries for smaller gaps in access to these resources, regardless of the overall level of resources. Thus the Index penalizes or rewards countries based on the size of the gap between male and female enrolment rates, but not for the overall levels of education in the country.
Outcomes vs. means
The second basic concept underlying the Global Gender Gap Index is that it evaluates countries based on outcomes rather than inputs. Our aim is to provide a snapshot of where men and women stand with regard to some fundamental outcome indicators related to basic rights such as health, education, economic participation and political empowerment. Indicators related to country specific policies, culture or customs—factors that we consider to be “input” or “means” variables—are not included in the Index, but they are displayed in the
Country Profiles. For example, the Index includes an indicator comparing the gap between men and women in high-skilled jobs such as Legislators, senior officials and managers (an outcome indicator) but does not include data on Length of maternity leave (a policy indicator).
There are three basic concepts underlying the Global Gender Gap Index. First, it focuses on measuring gaps rather than levels. Second, it captures gaps in outcome variables rather than gaps in means or input variables. Third, it ranks countries according to gender equality rather than women’s empowerment. Our aim is to focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen indicators has declined, rather than whether women are “winning” the “battle of the sexes”. Hence, the Index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men in particular indicators.
The four pillars
The Global Gender Gap Index examines the gap between men and women in four fundamental categories:
1. Economic Participation and Opportunity. This subindex is captured through three concepts: the participation gap, the remuneration gap and the advancement gap. The participation gap is captured using the difference in labour force participation rates. The remuneration gap is captured through a hard data indicator (ratio of estimated female-to-male earned income)
and a qualitative variable calculated through the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey (wage equality for similar work). Finally, the gap between the advancement of women and men is captured through two hard data statistics (the ratio of women to men among legislators, senior officials and managers, and the ratio of women to men among technical and professional workers).
2. Educational Attainment. In this subindex, the gap between women’s and men’s current access to education is captured through ratios of women to men in primary-, secondary- and tertiary-level education. A longer-term view of the country’s ability to educate women and men in equal numbers is captured through the ratio of the female literacy rate to the male
3. Health and Survival. This subindex provides an overview of the differences between women’s and men’s health. To do this, we use two indicators. The first is the sex ratio at birth, which aims specifically to capture the phenomenon of “missing women” prevalent in many countries with a strong son preference. Second, we use the gap between women’s
and men’s healthy life expectancy, calculated by the World Health Organization. This measure provides an estimate of the number of years that women and men can expect to live in good health by taking into account the years lost to violence, disease, malnutrition or other relevant factors.
4. Political Empowerment. This subindex measures the gap between men and women at the highest level of political decision-making, through the ratio of women to men in minister-level positions and the ratio of women to men in parliamentary positions. In addition, we include the ratio of women to men in terms of years in executive office (prime minister or president) for the last 50 years. A clear drawback in this category is the absence of any indicators capturing differences between the participation of women and men at local levels of government. Should such data become available at a global level in future years, they will be considered for inclusion in the Global Gender Gap Index.
In 2013, we have been able to include 133 of the 135 countries covered in the 2012 edition of the Report. Due to lack of updated data, we have removed Gambia and Timor-Leste from the Report in 2013. However, we were able to include three new countries—Angola, Bhutan and Lao PDR—resulting in a a total of 136 countries. Of these, 110 have been included in the Report since the first edition in 2006.
GENDER GAP INDEX 2013
1. Iceland 0.8731
2. Finland 0.8421
3. Norway 0.8417
4. Sweden 0.8129
5. Philippines 0.7832
6. Ireland 06.7823
7. New Zealand 0.7799
8. Denmark 0.7779
9. Switzerland 0.7736
10. Nicaragua 0.7715
11. Belgium 0.7684
12. Latvia 0.7610
13. Netherlands 0.7608
14. Germany 0.7583
15. Cuba 0.7540
16. Lesotho 0.7530
17. South Africa 0.7510
18. United Kingdom 0.7440
19. Austria 0.7437
20. Canada 0.7425
21. Luxembourg 0.7410
22. Burundi 0.7397
23. United States 0.7392
24. Australia 0.7390
25. Ecuador 0.7389
26. Mozambique 0.7349
27. Bolivia 0.7340 27
28. Lithuania 0.7308
29. Barbados 0.7301
30. Spain 0.7266
31. Costa Rica 0.7241
32. Kazakhstan 0.7218
33. Mongolia 0.7204
34. Argentina 0.7195
35. Colombia 0.7171
36. Trinidad and Tobago 0.7166
37. Panama 0.7164
38. Slovenia 0.7155
39. Malawi 0.7139
40. Bahamas 0.7128
41. Cape Verde 0.7122
42. Serbia 0.7116
43. Bulgaria 0.7097
44. Namibia 0.7094
45. France 0.7089
46. Uganda 0.7086
47. Jamaica 0.7085
48. Guyana 0.7085
49. Croatia 0.7069
50. Venezuela 0.7060
51. Portugal 0.7056
52. Moldova 0.7037
53. Israel 0.7032
54. Poland 0.7031
55. Sri Lanka 0.7019
56. Madagascar 0.7016
57. Macedonia, FYR 0.7013
58. Singapore 0.7000
59. Estonia 0.6997
60. Lao PDR* 0.6993
61. Russian Federation 0.6983
62. Brazil 0.6949
63. Kyrgyz Republic 0.6948
64. Ukraine 0.6935
65. Thailand 0.6928
66. Tanzania 0.6928
67. Senegal 0.6923
68. Mexico 0.6917
69. China 0.6908
70. Italy 0.6885
72. Dominican Republic 0.6867
73. Vietnam 0.6863
74. Slovak Republic 0.6857
75. Bangladesh 0.6848
76. Ghana 0.6811
77. Uruguay 0.6803
78. Kenya 0.6803
79. Cyprus 0.6801
80. Peru 0.6787
81. Greece 0.6782
82. Honduras 0.6773
83. Czech Republic 0.6770
84. Malta 0.6761
85. Botswana 0.6752
86. Georgia 0.6750
87. Hungary 0.6742
88. Brunei Darussalam 0.6730
89. Paraguay 0.6724
90. Tajikistan 0.6682
91. Chile 0.6670 90
92. Angola* 0.6659
93. Bhutan* 0.6651
94. Armenia 0.6634
95. Indonesia 0.6613
96. El Salvador 0.6609
97. Maldives 0.6604
98. Mauritius 0.6599
99. Azerbaijan 0.6582
100. Cameroon 0.6560
101. India 0.6551
102. Malaysia 0.6518
103. Burkina Faso 0.6513
104. Cambodia 0.6509
105. Japan 0.6498
106. Nigeria 0.6469
107. Belize 0.6449
108. Albania 0.6412
109. United Arab Emirates 0.6372
110. Suriname 0.6369
111. Korea, Rep. 0.6351
112. Bahrain 0.6334
113. Zambia 0.6312
114. Guatemala 0.6304
115. Qatar 0.6299
116. Kuwait 0.6292
117. Fiji 0.6286
118. Ethiopia 0.6198
119. Jordan 0.6093
120. Turkey 0.6081
121. Nepal 0.6053
122. Oman 0.6053
123. Lebanon 0.6028
124. Algeria 0.5966
125. Egypt 0.5935
126. Benin 0.5885
127. Saudi Arabia 0.5879
128. Mali 0.5872
129. Morocco 0.5845
130. Iran, Islamic Rep. 0.5842
131. Côte d’Ivoire 0.5814
132. Mauritania 0.5810
133. Syria 0.5661
134. Chad 0.5588
135. Pakistan 0.5459
137. Yemen 0.5128
In 2013, in the high-income group, the Nordic countries lead the way while Saudi Arabia (127) is the lowest performing country in this category. In the upper-middle-income group, Cuba (15) ranks highest while Iran, Islamic Rep. (130) occupies the lowest position. In the lower-middle-income group, the Philippines (5) comes out on top while Yemen (136) holds last position. In the lower income group, Burundi (22) is the strongest performer while Chad (134) is in last place.
In 2013, twenty-five countries have fully closed the gap in Educational Attainment (5 more than last year) while Benin, the lowest-ranking country on this subindex, has closed only about 51% of its gender gap. Thirty-three countries have closed the gap in Health and Survival. China, Albania, India and Azerbaijan remain the lowest-ranking countries on this subindex. Ten countries have closed the gap on both the Health and Survival and Educational Attainment subindexes. No country has closed the economic participation gap or the political empowerment gap.
All Nordic countries reached 99-100% literacy for both sexes several decades ago and display gender parity at both primary-and secondary-level of education. At the tertiary level, in addition to very high levels of enrolment for both women and men, the gender gap has been reversed and women now make up the majority of the high-skilled workforce. In Norway, Sweden and Iceland there are over 1.5 women for every man enrolled in tertiary education, and in Finland (1.23) and Denmark (1.45) women also make up the majority of those in tertiary education.
Economic Participation and Opportunity
On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, the highest-ranking country (Norway) has closed over 84% of its gender gap, while the lowest ranking country (Syria) has closed only 25% of its economic gender gap. There is similar variation in the Political Empowerment subindex. The highest-ranking country (Iceland) has closed almost 75% of its gender gap whereas the two lowest-ranking countries (Brunei Darussalam and Qatar) have closed none of the political empowerment gap according to this measure.
While many developed economies have succeeded in closing the gender gap in education, few have succeeded in maximizing the returns from this investment. The Nordic countries are leaders in this area too–all five countries feature in the top 25 of the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. This occurs due to a combination of factors: the labour force participation rates for women are among the highest in the world; salary gaps between women and men are among the lowest in the world, although not non-existent; and women have abundant opportunities to rise to positions of leadership. These patterns vary across the Nordic countries, but, on the whole, these economies have made it possible for parents to combine work and family, resulting in high female employment, more shared participation in childcare, more equitable distribution of labour at home, better work-life
balance for both women and men and in some cases a boost to declining fertility rates. Policies in some of these countries include mandatory paternal leave in combination with maternity leave, generous federally mandated parental leave benefits provided by a combination of social insurance funds and employers, tax incentives, and post-maternity
re-entry programmes. Together these policies have also led to relatively higher and rising birth rates occurring simultaneously with high female workforce participation in the Nordic countries, compared to other OECD economies such as Korea, Japan, Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain, where both birth rates and participation are lower. The Nordic experience points to fewer problems with ageing in the future, as well as higher labour activity and a more robust economy. Finally top-down approaches to promoting
women’s leadership have also been applied. In Norway, since 2008, publicly listed companies have been required to have 40% of each sex on their boards. Other countries, including emerging markets, are adopting similar measures.
The Nordic countries were also early starters in providing women with the right to vote (Sweden in 1919, Norway in 1913, Iceland and Denmark in 1915, Finland in 1906). In Denmark, Sweden and Norway, political parties introduced voluntary gender quotas in the 1970s, resulting in high numbers of female political representatives over the years. In Denmark, in fact, this quota has since been abandoned as no further stimulus is required. Today, Sweden has among the highest percentages of women in parliament in the world (44.7%) while the other Nordic countries are almost as successful. Indeed, all the Nordic countries are in the top ten best performers on the Women
in parliament indicator. These countries have a similarly strong record on the percentage of women in ministerial level positions with Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland being the four best overall countries on that indicator. Finally, Iceland, Finland and Norway are part of the top 10 countries on the years with Female head of state indicator.
Gender gaps, economic performance and policy implications
The most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its human talent—the skills, education and productivity of its workforce—and women account for one-half of the potential talent base throughout the world. Closing gender gaps is thus not only a matter of human rights and equity; it is also one of efficiency.
The correlation between competitiveness, income and development and gender gaps is evident despite the fact that the Global Gender Gap Index (unlike other gender indexes) explicitly eliminates any direct impact of the absolute levels of any of the variables used in the Index, as these may be impacted by the relative wealth of a country (e.g. life expectancy,educational attainment, labour force participation). While correlation does not prove causality, it is consistent with the theory and mounting evidence that empowering women means a more efficient use of a nation’s human capital endowment and that reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth.
Over time, therefore, a nation’s competitiveness depends, among other things, on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent.
There are several potential drivers behind this. Innovation requires new, unique ideas—and the best ideas flourish in a diverse environment. There is evidence to show that companies benefit by successfully integrating the female half of the available talent pool across their
internal leadership structures, that women may have a propensity for making more inclusive, informed decisions and for engaging in less risky behaviour and that genderequal teams may be more successful.
In addition, in many countries women now account for more than half of the college and university graduates. As they begin to take up half of entry-level positions in several industries, as evident in the data from several OECD countries, it is a loss for companies if these highly skilled women are forced to choose between work and family at later stages
of their career.
Business leaders and policy-makers must therefore ensure that, in addition to removing barriers to women’s entry to the workforce, they put in place practices and policies that will provide equal opportunities for rising to positions of leadership within companies.
In the second broad group are countries that have made the key investments in women’s education but have generally not removed barriers to women’s participation in the workforce and are thus not seeing returns on their investments in the development of one half of their human capital. This group includes Japan, United Arab Emirates, and Brazil. These countries have an untapped but educated talent pool and would have much to gain through
women’s greater participation in the workforce. A study has shown that closing the gap between male and female employment would boost Japanese GDP by as much as 16%. A report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Countries found that restricting job opportunities for women is costing the region between US$ 42 and US$ 46 billion a year.
Research by the World Bank demonstrates that similar restrictions have also imposed massive costs throughout the Middle East, where decades of substantial investment have dramatically reduced the gender gap in education but the gender gap in economic opportunity remains the widest in the world.
Furthermore, there is new research showing that the combined impact of growing gender equality, the emerging middle class and women’s spending priorities will lead to rising household savings rates and shifting spending patterns. Industry in these countries—particularly in sectors such as food, healthcare, education, childcare, apparel, consumer durables and financial services—will need to be prepared for these changes.
In the third and fourth groups, the most basic investments in girls’ and women’s education still need to be made, and fundamental rights—including legal frameworks around inheritance, reproductive rights and violence—are often inadequate. Research demonstrates that investment in girls’ education has significant multiplier effects: reduces high fertility rates, lowers infant and child mortality rates, lowers maternal mortality rates, increases women’s labour force participation rates and earnings and fosters educational investment in children.
These outcomes not only improve the quality of life, they also foster faster economic growth and development. A substantial body of literature has shown that investing in girls’ education is one of the highest-return investments a developing economy can make. The third group contains countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, which have both large education gender gaps as well as economic ones. The fourth group contains countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Burundi,,Ghana and Lao PDR, which have large education gender gaps but small economic ones, primarily due to high levels of participation by women in low-skilled work. For these countries, closing education gaps will remain an important factor over time. However, compared with the third group, women in these countries have greater access to income and decision-making.
Research has shown that women are more likely to invest a larger proportion of their household income than men in the education and health of their children. There is also some evidence from India to suggest that women in local government roles make decisions with better outcomes for communities than men when charged with budget decisions; they also appear to be more competent representatives than men, obtaining more resources for their constituencies despite having significantly lower education and relevant labor market experience.
Many of the 136 economies covered by the Index are faced with rapidly ageing populations. Those countries among the set with high old-age dependency ratios that have low economic
participation gaps and those that have high economic participation gaps. In countries where it is relatively easy for women to combine work with having children, female employment and female fertility both tend to be higher. Policies that allow women to combine work and family may thus play a role in addressing the future problems posed by ageing populations.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 provides a comprehensive overview of current performance and progress over the last eight years. On average, in 2013, over 96% of the gap in health outcomes, 93% of the gap in educational attainment, 60% of the gap in economic
participation and 21% of the gap in political empowerment has been closed. No country in the world has achieved gender equality. The four highest ranked countries—Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden—have closed between 81% and 87% of their gender gaps, while the
lowest ranked country—Yemen—has closed a little over half of its gender gap.
This allows the reader to see reverse gender gaps where they exist.On the Labour force participation indicator, Malawi, Mozambique and Burundi have reverse gender gaps, with a ratio higher than 1.00 (equality). Algeria and Syria are the two countries with the lowest scores on the Labour force participation indicator. On the Perceived wage equality for similar work indicator, the two highest countries are Malaysia and Philippines, whereas the two lowest performing countries are France and Mauritania. No country has reached parity on that indicator. Luxembourg, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland rank at the top on the Estimated earned income indicator while Algeria and Syria rank at the bottom. Jamaica, Colombia, Philippines, Lesotho and Fiji display ratios higher than 1.00 on the Legislators, senior officials and managers indicator, while Algeria, Pakistan and Yemen have the lowest ranks on that indicator. Sixty-two out of the 113 countries which provide data for the Professional and technical workers indicator have a female-to-male ratio higher than 1.00. Qatar and Yemen are the two lowest countries on that indicator.
On the Literacy rate indicator, twelve countries, including Lesotho and the United Arab Emirates, have ratios higher than 1.00. Mozambique and Benin are the two lowest countries on that indicator.
Thirty-five countries show ratios higher than 1.00 on the Enrolment in primary education indicator, whereas Benin, the lowest country on that indicator, has a ratio of 0.59. On the Enrolment in secondary education indicator, 68 countries (out of the 120 countries which have data on that indicator) have ratios higher than 1.00, with Lesotho holding first place. Chad is the lowest ranking country on that indicator with a ratio of 0.33.
Sixty-nine percent of the countries which have data on Enrolment in tertiary education have ratios higher than 1.00. Chad is also the lowest ranking country on that indicator with a ratio of 0.24.
Kazakhstan ranks first on the Sex ratio at birth (female-over-male value) indicator and is the only country with a sex ratio higher than 1.00. China, India, Vietnam and Azerbaijan are the lowest ranking countries on that indicator.
Eighty-seven percent of countries have a ratio higher than 1.00 on the Healthy life expectancy indicator, 12 countries show ratios equal to 1.00 and only 6 countries have ratios smaller than 1.00.
No country has reached parity on the Women in parliament indicator. Cuba ranks the highest whereas Yemen and Qatar rank the lowest with no women in parliament. On the Women in ministerial positions indicator, Norway holds the top position with 53% of ministerial
positions held by women; and it is also the only country in the world with a higher than 1.00 ratio. No country has reached parity on the Years with female head of states indicator. India ranks first on that indicator, whereas 65% of countries that have data on that indicator have never had a female head of state over the past 50 years.
Policy Frameworks for Gender Equality
National policy frameworks play a key role in influencing the magnitude and scope of gender gaps. Most countries around the world have instituted some form of national machinery to promote gender mainstreaming across various policy areas. Regional variations in the size and type of gender gaps correspond to different mechanisms established at country and regional level for addressing these specific gaps.
• Family leave: Maternity, paternity and parental leave—or any other type of additional shared leave—are closely associated with women’s economic participation in many parts of the world and are thus an important element of policies aimed at a more efficient use of a country’s human capital pool.
• Childcare assistance: Childcare is an important factor in allowing women to reconcile professional and family obligations. This is especially important for women’s economic participation because they tend to bear most of the caregiving responsibilities in the
majority of countries. For example, a well-established daycare system can be a vital long-term investment that supports women in employment, thereby improving the efficiency of labour markets. In some parts of the developed world, research has shown that
daycare assistance may even impact fertility rates.
• Taxation system: Tax legislation may contain potentially discriminatory provisions that treat men and women differently. For example, gender-biased taxation might alter the disposable income available to men and women in a family and may thus have implications for the economic and social decision making at the household level.
• Equality and work: Legislative structures may help prevent gender-based discrimination in the economy and create an ecosystem of support for women through, among other policies, obligatory and voluntary quotas in public and private entities, targeted subsidies to female businesses and supervisory bodies monitoring the implementation of national policies.
to, breastfeeding leave, annual leave.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit
foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.
Nearly 200 countries were considered for inclusion this year. Out of the 136 ultimately covered in this Report, 25 countries had one data point missing: Albania (Women in parliament), Bangladesh (Enrolment in primary education), Bhutan (Years with female head of state), Botswana (Women in ministerial positions), Brazil (Enrolment in secondary education), Canada (Enrolment in secondary education), China (Enrolment in secondary education), Dominican Republic (Estimated earned income), Egypt (Enrolment in secondary education), Germany (Enrolment in secondary education), Honduras (Enrolment in secondary
education), Jamaica (Professional and technical workers), Japan (Enrolment in primary education), Maldives (Wage equality for similar work), Nepal (Enrolment in secondary education), Philippines (Women in parliament), Russian Federation (Enrolment in secondary education), Saudi Arabia (Enrolment in secondary education), Serbia (Labour force participation), Singapore (Enrolment in tertiary education), South Africa (Enrolment in tertiary education), Sri Lanka (Women in ministerial positions), Tanzania (Enrolment in secondary education), United Arab Emirates
Measuring the Global Gender Gap(En