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27 October 2016

A decade of regression for UK women

The latest report from the World Economic Forum shows just how much women in the UK have lost out over the past decade.

Through its Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics. The 2016 Report covers 144 countries.

The gender pay gap is measured as part of the WEF’s Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. 11 countries (three less than last year), including four from Sub-Saharan Africa—Burundi, Botswana, Rwanda and Ghana—and three Nordic countries—Norway, Iceland, and Sweden—have closed more than 80 per cent of their gap. However, 19 countries have closed less than 50 per cent of the gap, with Pakistan and Syria holding the last two spots. Thirty-two countries have scores below the world average (0.586, weighted by population) on this subindex.

While the UK has risen to 20th from 18th place in the overall rankings, it is still well below its top 10 position in 2006. On wage equality for similar work the UK ranks 52nd, and on estimated earned income, 92nd. Even allowing for quibbles over statistical comparability, this is a lamentable score.

You can read the full report here.

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