As of the Wikipedia,  the Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum.  Its Gap Index is designed to measure gender equality status of 144 countries as based on economic participation and opportunity, education attainment, health and survival and political participation.  This year’s edition saw the MENA region close its overall gender gap by more than 60% but it continued unsurprisingly to rank last globally in the overall index.

The best performers in the region however were Qatar at 119th and Algeria at 120th, the UAE coming close behind at 124th and Saudi Arabia as expected at the rear of the line at 141st .  According to several GCC’s online media, the Gulf economies were the worst performing in the high income group in this year’s index.  Gulf Business, for instance, reviewed the WEF report’s proposed ranking of these countries and concluded that several Gulf nations improved their gender equality in this year’s rankings, but still remained in the bottom half of the table. 

Globally, the “Top Ten” consist as expected of the Scandinavian countries leading the pack together with few exceptions such as Rwanda, Ireland, the Philippines, Slovenia and New Zealand.  We excerpted few paragraphs and an interactive world map of the report and reproduced here for purposes of mouth-watering our readers to go the original WEF site and make it into a good weekend read of the whole report. 

 

Talent and technology together will determine how the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be harnessed to deliver sustainable economic growth and innumerable benefits to society. Yet if half of the world’s talent is not integrated—as both beneficiary and shaper—into the transformations underway, we will compromise innovation and risk a rise in inequality. This urgency is at the core of a fresh call to action to accelerate progress towards gender equality, adding to the well-established economic case for gender equality. Moreover, there is a fundamental moral case for empowering women: women represent one half of the global population and it is self-evident that they must have equal access to health, education, earning power and political representation.

Through the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracks their progress over time. While no single measure can capture the complete situation, the Global Gender Gap Index presented in this Report seeks to measure one important aspect of gender equality—the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics. The Index was developed in part to address the need for a consistent and comprehensive measure for gender equality that can track a country’s progress over time. More than a decade of data has revealed that progress is still too slow for realizing the full potential of one half of humanity within our lifetimes.

The Index does not seek to provide a comprehensive set of data and a clear method for tracking gaps on critical indicators so that countries may set priorities within their own economic, political and cultural contexts. It 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 available resources.

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