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The Global Gender Gap Index Report 2018

World Economic Forum




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The Global Gender Gap Index Report 2018

The Global Gender Gap Index Report 2018

The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, education, health and political criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups. The Index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress over time. The rankings are designed to create global awareness of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.

Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide. The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 149 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, the 2018 edition studies skills gender gaps related to Artificial Intelligence.


  • Today, the Global Gender Gap score stands at 68%.12 This means that, on average, there is still a 32% gap to close. The gap is still large across most of the 149 countries assessed. To date, no country has achieved parity, and only the top seven countries in the rankings have closed at least 80% of the gap.
  • The top positions are held by Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland), one is from Latin American (Nicaragua, 5th), one is from Sub-Saharan Africa (Rwanda, 6th) and two are from the East Asia and the Pacific region (New Zealand, 7th, and Philippines, 8th). The top ten is completed by Ireland (9th) and Namibia (10th).
  • Lao PDR was a far second to the Philippines among ASEAN countries in the ranking, taking the 26th spot. It was followed by Singapore (67th), Vietnam (77th), Thailand (73rd), Vietnam (77th), Indonesia (85th), Myanmar (88th), Cambodia (98th), Brunei (90th) and Malaysia (101st).
  • 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.
  • 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). However, there are bright spots, where significant progress has been achieved. Full parity on this indicator is already a reality in five countries (Bahamas, Colombia, Jamaica, Lao PDR and Philippines); and in another 19 countries there are at least 40% of women in managerial positions.
  • 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. Also, among the 29 countries for which data are available, women spend, on average, twice as much time on housework and other unpaid activities than men.
  • 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. On average, 65% of girls and 66% of boys have enrolled in secondary education globally, and just 39% of women and 34% of men are in college or university today. This fact calls for more ambitious goals to better develop human capital—for both women and men.


    • The Global Gender Gap Index 2018
    • Measuring the Global Gender Gap
    • Results and Analysis
    • Progress over Time
    • Performance by Region and Country
    • Assessing Gender Gaps in Artificial Intelligence
    • Conclusion
    • Appendix A: Regional and Income Group Classifications
    • User’s Guide: Exploring the Global Gender Gap Index Data
    • List of Countries
    • Country Profiles
  • Acknowledgements
  • System Initiative Partners
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