Global Gender Gap Index 2014

The Global Gender Gap Index 2014

Global Gender Gap Interactive Map

The World Economic Forum defines competitiveness as the set of institutions,policies,and factors that determine the level of productivity of an economy.

Regional Highlights

Europe and Central Asia

Iceland (1) ranked fourth overall in 2006. It climbed to the top of the rankings within four years, remaining in that position for six consecutive years. This year, Iceland ranked first overall on the Political Empowerment sub-index.

Germany (12) performed well on the Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, and Political Empowerment sub-indexes. Under the latter sub-index, Germany is the fifth country with the highest improvement of “years with female head of state” (female-over-male ratio) over the past nine years.

France (16) entered the top 20 for the first time. It also came in third overall with the highest percentage change relative to its score in 2006. France is the country with the highest improvement on the “legislators, senior officials and managers” indicator over the past nine years. The country ranked low on the “wage equality for similar work” indicator.

Asia and the Pacific

China’s (87) overall score improved compared to 2006 due to improvements on all four sub-indexes, especially the Political Empowerment sub-index. This year, China is one of nine countries that ranked below average on the Health and Survival sub-index.

Japan’s (104) overall score improved compared to 2006 due to improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index. However, it fell in the rankings on the other three sub-indexes, especially the Political Empowerment sub-index.

India (114) experienced a drop (in absolute and relative value) on the Health and Survival sub-index compared to 2006, mainly due to a decrease in the female-to-male sex ratio at birth. In 2014, India also performed below average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity and Educational Attainment sub-indexes.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Nicaragua (6) is the best performer in the region and the only country from Latin America and the Caribbean to make it to the top 10 for the third consecutive year. Since 2006, the country has recorded the highest improvement to date (absolute and relative). Nicaragua has come a long way to close the economic participation gap with one of the best improvements recorded since 2006. Nicaragua is also the country with the highest absolute improvement in “women in ministerial positions”.

Brazil (71) closed just below 70% of its gender gap, similar to last year. Looking back at the data, Brazil has recorded a 6% change relative to its 2006 score. In the 2006-2014 period, it recorded the greatest improvement in the region in “primary education enrolment”.

Mexico (80) experienced an improvement of its overall score compared to 2006, but saw a slight decrease since last year. It performed more or less the same on the Education Attainment and Health and Survival sub-indexes, but did better on the Economic Participation sub-index, boosted by improved scores in “labour force participation”, “estimated earned income” and “legislators, senior officials and managers” indicators. However, there was a decline in the number of women in ministerial positions.

North America

Canada (19) experienced an overall improvement compared to 2006. Compared to 2013, the country saw a slight decrease on the Economic Participation and Opportunity and Health and Survival sub-indexes, no change on the Education Attainment sub-index and an improvement on Political Empowerment sub-index, led mainly by more “women in ministerial positions” (from 7% to 25%).

United States (20) makes it back into the top 20, having closed nearly 75% of its gender gap. On the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index, the country ranks fourth out of 142 countries. The greatest change, however, comes in the Political Empowerment sub-index, with an increase in “women in ministerial positions”. Also, this year, parity has been surpassed for “professional and technical workers”, where 55% are women. In the 2006-2016 period, the US has improved by almost 6% overall.

Middle East and North Africa

Kuwait (113) has become this year the top-performing country among Arab countries, mainly due to a significant increase in the “estimated earned income” indicator. Kuwait is one of three countries from the region which performed above average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index. However, it is one of the 10 lowest-performing countries on the Health and Survival and Political Empowerment sub-indexes. Kuwait experienced the second highest relative percentage change on the Political Empowerment sub-index.

United Arab Emirates (115) performed below average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity and Political Empowerment sub-indexes, but above average on the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival sub-indexes. Compared to 2006, the UAE is the country with the highest percentage change relative to its own 2006 score on the Political Empowerment sub-index.

Saudi Arabia (130) is one of five countries with the highest percentage change relative to its 2006 score. This rise is due to improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity and Educational Attainment sub-indexes, with highest relative improvement in the “professional and technical workers” indicator and highest absolute improvement in the “enrolment in tertiary education” indicator. This year, Saudi Arabia is also one of four countries overall that does not have a female minister.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda (7) is the strongest performer in the region, ranking overall among the top 10 countries. Its high score can be attributed to Rwanda’s strong performance on the Political Empowerment sub-index and good performance on the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index. However, this performance is slightly offset by lower scores on wider gender gaps on the Health and Survival and Education Attainment sub-indexes. It is the first time that Rwanda is integrated in the ranking.

South Africa (18) has been among the top 20-performing countries since 2006, except in 2008. The country experienced improvements compared to 2006 in all sub-indexes, except in Education Attainment. Compared to last year, South Africa is one of the countries with the highest relative improvement.

Nigeria (118) experienced improvements compared to 2006, but has seen a lower score on the overall ranking relative to its performance last year. This year, Nigeria is one of the ten lowest ranking countries with regards to enrolment in primary and secondary education.

Gender Gap by Pillar

In 2006, 56% of the economic participation gap had been closed; in 2014, 60% of this gap has been closed. In 2006, almost 92% of the educational attainment gap had been closed; in 2014, 94% of this gap has been closed. On health and survival, however, there has been a small deterioration between 2006 and 2014, from 97% to 96%. In 2006, 14% of the global political empowerment gap had been closed; in 2014, 21% of this gap has been closed.

Gender Gap by Income

On the Global Gender Gap Index, while low-income countries start out at having closed only 62.61% of the overall gap, they make gains of nearly 5%. Lower-middle income countries, while starting out lowest, make the second largest gains (3.4%). Next are high income countries at 3.3% and finally, upper middle income countries at 2.2%.

Is the gender gap closing over time?

Economic Participation and Opportunity

Educational Attainment

Health and Survival

Political Empowerment