Gender pay parity is 202 years away, WEF says

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It will take more than 200 years for economic gender equality to emerge, and 108 years to completely close the global gender gap across politics, health, education, according to the latest report from the World Economic Forum. Only in the case of the equal economic opportunities, the gap has been reduced, however, the proportion of women in the global labour force had declined.

"Although these countries collectively have closed 41 per cent of their women in parliament gender gap, they took a step back this year", the report said.

Given current trends, it will take 107 years to close the global political empowerment gap, according to the report. Norway comes second with a gender parity level of 83.5 percent, followed by Sweden and Finland, both at 82.2 percent.

Japan's gender gap score in political empowerment remained the lowest among the four pillars at 125, worsening from last year's 123rd, and its ranking in economic participation and opportunity was 117th, falling from 114th in 2017.

"One thing that is clear is that proactive action - in the form of clear and achievable policy prescriptions - is needed to address the gender gap".

When it came to political leadership, the report pointed out that globally, there were just 17 countries in the world that now have women as heads of state, while, on average, just 18 percent of ministers and 24 percent of parliamentarians globally are women.

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The WEF highlights that women represent only 22 percent of the workforce for artificial intelligence, a major driver of innovation focused on machine learning. On a global average, 18% of women are ministers and only 24% are parliamentarians.

Narrowing the economic gender gap is especially important in "high-growth areas such as AI and computing", as "these will become ever more prevalent in all industries in the future". In the previous year, the authors had found for the first time since the publication of the 2006 study, a widening of the gap between women and men.

When it came to the breakdown of what types of jobs men and women would have in AI, women were more likely to be employed as data analysts, researchers, information managers, and teachers.

The report, however, noted that Manila needs to improve in closing the gender gap in its health and survival category.

"The economies that will succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be those that are best able to harness all their available talent", said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

More of a surprise is the fact that the top 10 features Nicaragua, in 5th place, two sub-Saharan African countries - Rwanda (6th) and Namibia (10th) - and the Philippines in 8th place.

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