29 October 2014

New Zealand’s gender gap has not improved since 2007 according to the  Global Gender Gap Report 2014, released yesterday by the World Economic Forum.

New Zealand is placed 15th from the 141 countries in this year’s survey.  It was 7th last year.  (Australia is ranked 24th.)  Of the four characteristics measured in the survey, New Zealand is among the ten highest ranking countries for Educational Attainment only.  It has been the top ranking country for Educational Attainment since 2007. Its ranking for Economic Participation, Health Survival and Political Empowerment continue to deteriorate year on year as more countries are included in the report.

Top Ten- Global Gender Gap Index 2014

Iceland  1
Finland  2
Norway  3
Sweden  4
Denmark  5
Nicaragua  6
Rwanda  7
Ireland  8
Philippines  9
Belgium 10

The World Economic Forum has found a strong correlation between a country’s gender gap and its national competitiveness. “As women account for one-half of a country’s potential talent base, a nation’s competitiveness in the long term depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilises its women.”

The gender gap for economic participation and opportunity has only improved by 4% since the survey began nine years ago. The gap in 2006 of 56% has now narrowed to 60%.

Global Gender Gap Report 2014 – New Zealand ranking

  2006 2013 2014
Overall 9 7 15
Economic Participation 14 15 30
Education attainment 17 1 1
Health Survival 69 93 96
Political Empowerment 11 12 14
Participating countries 115 136 142

Today is the anniversary in 1938 when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected as President of Liberia – Africa’s first female Head of State, and also of the foundation of the US National Organisation of Women.