The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the 99.5 years that experts had estimated would take to close the gender gap to a further 135.6 years, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021.
According to the 2021 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap, “ health emergency and the related economic downturn have impacted women more severely than men, partially re-opening gaps that had already been closed”.
The Global Gender Gap index benchmarked156 countries “providing a tool for cross-country comparison and to prioritize the most effective policies needed to close gender gaps”.
The report tracked political, economic, opportunity and Education participation gender gaps.
Political Gender Gap
The gender gap in Political Empowerment, according to the report, remains the largest of the four gaps tracked, with only 22% closed to date, with the World Economic Forum estimating that it will take 145.5 years to attain gender parity in politics.
“Across the 156 countries covered by the index, women represent only 26.1% of some 35,500 parliament seats and just 22.6% of over 3,400 ministers worldwide. In 81 countries, there has never been a woman head of state, as of 15th January 2021,” the report says.
Gender Wage Gap
The gender gap in Economic Participation and Opportunity is the second-largest. 58% of this gap has been closed so far, with the Global Gender Gap report estimating that it will take another 267.6 years to close.
The report further observes that even though the number of skilled women continues to increase, income disparities and the lack of women in leadership positions continue to hamper the economic participation of women, with women representing just 27% of all managerial positions.
“Projections for a select number of countries show that gender gaps in labour force participation are wider since the outbreak of the pandemic. Globally, the economic gender gap may thus be between 1% and 4% wider than reported.”
Pressing for Progress in Education
According to the World Economic Forum, Gender gaps in Educational Attainment and Health and Survival are nearly closed and will reportedly take another 14.2 years to completely close.
“In Educational Attainment, 95% of this gender gap has been closed globally, with 37 countries already at parity,” the report says.
Kenya Ranks position 95 globally in bridging the gender gap
Kenya has been ranked position 95 out of 156countries in the recently released World Economic Forum Global Gender Report 2021.
Namibia was ranked the leading African country and sixth globally.