Women’s Earnings Will Catch Up to Men’s (Got a Century?)

Despite some progress toward gender equality, the pace is glacial and the United States is backsliding, according to a new report.

Women’s Earnings Will Catch Up to Men’s (Got a Century?) Photo (cc) by Jair Alcon Photography

When it comes to equality between men and women, a new report from the World Economic Forum has good news and bad. The global gender gap is getting smaller, it actually decreased by 4 percent in the last decade. But if we continue at that pace, it will take 118 more years to close the gap.

In other words, women’s earnings may finally catch up to men’s in 2133. Wow.

The WEF measures each country’s gender gap by looking at whether men and women have the same rights and opportunities in health, education, economic opportunity and politics. Based on that information, the WEF says these countries are the most gender-equal in the world:

  1. Iceland
  2. Norway
  3. Finland
  4. Sweden
  5. Ireland
  6. Rwanda
  7. Philippines
  8. Switzerland
  9. Slovenia
  10. New Zealand

Iceland has secured the top spot on the most equal country list for seven years in a row. Overall, Nordic countries are doing the best at achieving gender parity.

“They have the best policies in the world for families,” the report’s lead author, Saadia Zahidi, told the BBC. “Their child care systems are the best, and they have the best laws on paternity, maternity and family leave.”

Meanwhile,Yemen ranked last (145th place) on gender equality. Just 55 percent of its women are able to read, a mere 6 percent of women attend college and there are no women representatives in the country’s equivalent of Congress.

The United States is notably absent from the top 10 list of most equal countries. In fact, you won’t find it in the top 20 either. According to the WEF, the gender gap in the United States has grown over the last year.

“The United States loses eight places since 2014, due to slightly less perceived wage equality for similar work and changes in ministerial level positions,” said the WEF.

Interestingly, the report found that a reverse gender gap has emerged in higher education. More women attend universities than men in 98 countries. But women are still struggling to reach top leadership positions in politics, business and public service.

“Companies and governments need to implement new policies to prevent this continued loss of talent and instead leverage it for boosting growth and competitiveness,” Zahidi said in a statement.

Check out “10 Jobs With the Biggest Pay Gap Between Men and Women.”

What do you think of the U.S. ranking in the new WEF gender gap report? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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