Just The Facts

Western Europe: The Fastest-Closing Gender Gap

Which world regions have the widest gender gaps and which are closing slowest?

Takeaways


  • The world region where the overall gender gap will close fastest is in Western Europe (61 years).
  • Among the G20 countries, France is the nation that has achieved the highest progress towards gender parity (ranking 11th worldwide).

1. The world region where the overall gender gap will close fastest is in Western Europe (61 years).

2. This is followed by South Asia (62 years) and Latin America (79 years).

3. These projections come from the World Economic Forum’s 2017 report. It examines a range of key inequities between women and men by issue and region.

4. In sub-Saharan Africa, the gender gap is 102 years away from closing, based on current trends.

5. The Middle East is 157 years away from gender equity. Just behind that timetable is East Asia-Pacific (161 years).

6. Some of these results may be surprising. However, closing the gender gap depends on two factors.

7. First, how large the gap still is at present – and second, how fast regions or countries manage to close it.

8. For Western Europe, the overall gap to reach gender parity is currently the smallest, although still at 25%.

9. The gap is very similar for the United States (28%). China and India both have larger gender gaps at (33%).

10. However, the fact that Western Europe’s gap is expected to take another 61 years to close, compared to South Asia’s 62 years, is an indication that, over the past 10 years, progress has been faster in South Asia than in Europe.

11. If that trend continues, then South Asia and Europe would be closing their respective gender gap at around the same time.

12. Among the G20 countries, France is the nation that has achieved the highest progress towards gender parity (ranking 11th worldwide).

13. France is closely followed by Germany (12th), the United Kingdom (15th), Canada (16th), South Africa (19th) and Argentina (34th).

14. South Korea (118th), Turkey (131st) and Saudi Arabia (138th) make up the lower ranks of this group.

15. Remarkably, the United States (49th) would take 168 years to reach gender equality. North America has registered the slowest regional rate of progress since 2006.

Sources: World Economic Forum, The Globalist Research Center

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