Gender equality is an issue of both human dignity and respect and greater global prosperity.
Gender equality across education, health, politics, and economic participation is necessary for building more inclusive economies around the world. Sustainable development goals are not achievable if half of the world’s population is not as involved as the other half. It is up to all levels of governments to create policies that provide talent development, diversify the leadership pool, and provide support to families and caregivers.
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
- Economic Participation and Opportunity
- Educational Attainment
- Health and Survival
- Power Empowerment
The 2020 edition of the Global Gender Gap Index studied and ranked 153 countries around the world. Countries are ranked from 0-1, with 1 having the highest gender equality and 0 having the least amount of gender equality. The analyses of each country are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.
The 2020 report found that the average distance completed to gender parity is 68.6%, which is an improvement from the 2019 edition. There is still a 31.4% average gender gap that remains to be closed globally. The Political Empowerment dimension has the largest disparity among the four dimensions, but 108 countries of 149 covered have improved their overall scores in that dimension. Additionally, Educational Attainment gaps are relatively small on average but only 35 countries have achieved gender parity in education. The 2020 edition also shows that progress was not only larger than the 2019 edition, but the progress was also more widespread, as 101 countries improved their score and 48 saw no change or had their score reduced.
Countries with the Smallest Gender Gaps
The ten countries with the smallest gender gaps are:
- Iceland (0.877)
- Norway (0.842)
- Finland (0.832)
- Sweden (0.820)
- Nicaragua (0.804)
- New Zealand (0.799)
- Ireland (0.798)
- Spain (0.795)
- Rwanda (0.791)
- Germany (0.787)
The top ten countries for gender equality include four Nordic countries, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden; one Latin American country, Nicaragua, one country from East Asia and the Pacific region, New Zealand; three countries from West Europe, Ireland, Spain, and Germany, and one country from Sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda.
Iceland kept its number one spot in the 2020 edition for the 11th year in a row. Iceland has closed almost 88% of its overall gender gap. Norway, ranked second, has been able to close 84.2% of its gender gap, followed by Finland closing 83.2%, and Sweden closing 82.0% of its gender gap.
Countries with the Largest Gender Gaps
The ten countries with the largest gender gaps are:
- Yemen (0.494)
- Iraq (0.530)
- Pakistan (0.564)
- Syria (0.567)
- DR Congo (0.578)
- Iran (0.584)
- Chad (0.596)
- Saudi Arabia (0.599)
- Lebanon (0.599)
- Oman (0.602)
Unfortunately, six of these ten countries have reduced their gender equality scores from the 2019 edition of the index. Only Pakistan, Chad, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon have seen small improvements in their scores. Economic opportunities are still extremely limited for women in Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, which have the four worst gender gaps for economic Participation and Opportunity.