Gap at a glance

Author:Lijun Li
Position:Communications officer, IMF
Pages:50-51
SUMMARY

Women still lag in many areas, while glaring disparity emerges in the technology field.

 
FREE EXCERPT
50 FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT | March 2019
PICTURE THIS
GENDER EQUALITY is not just the right thing to
do—it also makes good economic sense. Yet across
the world, women are still a long way off from
achieving gender parity with men, according to
a new report from the World Economic Forum.
The 2018 Global Gender Gap Index finds
that women have reached 68 percent parity
overall, leaving a gap of 32 percent. The report
measures the gender gap in four main areas:
economic participation and opportunity, edu-
cational attainment, health and survival, and
political empowerment.
When it comes to leadership, women still have
a long way to go. ey represent just 18 percent
of ministers and 24 percent of parliamentarians
globally, and they hold just 34 percent of man-
agerial positions. In terms of broader economic
power, women continue to experience large gaps
with men in their control of financial assets and in
time spent on housework and other unpaid tasks.
e report also flags the disturbing emergence
of gender gaps in skills related to artificial intel-
ligence (AI). It finds that only 22 percent of AI
professionals worldwide are women, while 78
percent are men. e implications of this finding
are worth noting. First, this skills gap may worsen
future gender gaps, as AI skills will be increasingly
in demand. Second, technology across many fields
is being developed without diverse talent, limiting
its innovative and inclusive capacity. ird, the low
integration of women in AI implies a significant
missed opportunity: the world cannot afford to
deprive itself of women’s talent in a field where
talent is already scarce.
To stay competitive, then, countries must make
gender equality a priority. e report points to
potential role models by revealing those countries
that—within their region or income group—are
leaders in distributing resources more equitably
between women and men, regardless of the overall
level of resources.
Prepared by LIJUN LI, communications officer, IMF. Text and
charts are based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender
Gap Index 2018, available at https://www.weforum.org/reports/
the-global-gender-gap-report-2018.
Women still lag in many areas, while glaring disparity emerges in the technology field
GAP AT A GLANCE
ART: ISTOCK/CIENPIES
Gender gap score by area
Health and education gender gaps are closing, while political and economic
empowerment gaps remain large.
Top 10 performers
Iceland leads the way, followed by its Nordic neighbors.
Overall Health and Educational Economic participation Political
rating survival attainment and opportunity empowerment
(scale from 0 to 1)
Disparity
Parity
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Global snapshot
Global Index
Country Rank Score (0–1)
Iceland 1 0.858
Norway  0.835
Sweden 3 0.822
Finland 4 0.821
Nicaragua 5 0.809
Rwanda 6 0.804
New Zealand 7 0.801
Philippines 8 0.799
Ireland 9 0.796
Namibia 10 0.789

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