The UK falls six places on global gender equality rankings

The UK has fallen six places down the global rankings for gender equality despite the government pledging to take stronger action against the gender imbalances in the workforce and wider society.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss-based organisation that tracks global progress in gender equality and its latest audit revealed that the UK has dropped from the 15th most equal nation in the world to the 21st with Albania, Canada, Costa Rica, Latvia, Switzerland, South Africa and Spain all ahead of the UK in closing the gender gap across politics, economics, health and education.

In a statement the WEF said that across the board there hasn’t been the progress expected and that it might take 100 years to actually tackle the problem for good.

Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the WEF said this year’s report “highlights the growing urgency for action” and “without the equal inclusion of half of the world’s talent, we will not be able to deliver on the promise of the fourth industrial revolution for all of society.”

He added, “At the present rate of change, it will take nearly a century to achieve parity, a timeline we simply cannot accept in today’s globalised world, especially among younger generations who hold increasingly progressive views of gender equality.”

Iceland is currently leading the rankings as the nation closest to achieving gender equality having closed 88% of its gender gap, followed by Norway (84.2%), Finland (83.2%) and Sweden (82%).

The UK scored 76.7% and the WEF believe the low number is down to due to big differences between men and women’s earned income and that men in the UK are dominating sectors such as AI, engineering and computing and many more women than men work part-time. The organisation also attributed the score with women being underrepresented in politics although last week a record 220 women were elected to parliament.

However, the UK did lead the way in some areas including literacy, enrolment in higher education and the proportion of professional and technical workers who are women.

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