Publication: The Lahore Times
Date: October 26, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has shown poor performance on all indicators of the Global Gender Gap (GGG) Report, issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The world’s gender gaps narrowed slightly in 2013 on the back of definite if not universal improvements in economic equality and political participation between the sexes, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, published today.
The areas where Pakistan showed improvements are labour force participation (134 last year to 131 this year), estimated earned income (131 to 129 this year), enrollment in primary education (133 last year to 125 this year), enrollment in secondary education (126 in 2012 to 114 this year) and enrollment in tertiary education (105 last year to 95 this year).
Other countries however out-shined Pakistan’s gains by adopting pro-active approach for bridging the gender gap. The country shows no progress on improving it’s ranking on most of the indicators of the GGG index. This identifies lack of commitment from the policy makers both at public as well as private sector to include more women’s participation in economic, social and political spheres.
Among areas where Pakistan lost its rankings are; wage equality for similar work 110 in 2012 to 113 in 2013. The level of gender parity among professional and technical workers was downgraded, losing 3 points for Pakistan, ranking at 108 among the 136 countries globally.
On the political empowerment pillar, although Pakistan is doing relatively better, it still lost 12 points on the Political Empowerment pillar and stands at 64 this year, similarly, women in parliament has been ranked 64 this year, as compared to 52 in 2012.
The report also shows that Pakistan has a large undocumented economy, where 3% of the female population has an account in a formal financial institution, the percentage for male population is 17%. The female and male employment in the informal sector (% of non-agricultural employment) 76% and 79% respectively.
The eighth annual edition of the Report ranks 136 countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality. Of the 133 countries that were measured in both 2012 and 2013, 86 actually improved their gender gap during this time. Overall, the Report finds Iceland the most advanced country in the world in terms of gender equality for the fifth year running. It, along with Finland (2nd), Norway (3rd) and Sweden (4th), has now closed over 80% of its gender gap. These countries are joined in the top 10 by the Philippines, which enters the top five for the first time, Ireland (6th), New Zealand (7th), Denmark (8th), Switzerland (9th) and Nicaragua (10th).