The World Economic Forum

has released its 2007 report on the global gender gap. 

128 countries are assessed on 4 dimensions: economic, education, political empowerment and health and survival. The United States, still believed by many of its conservative politicians to be the greatest country in the world, has fallen in rank from 23 to 31 over the last year, with its record of political participation particularly noteworthy: it ranks 69th.

The UK is 11th, a fall in rank despite an overall increased score.

While the United Kingdom has fallen in the relative rankings, it shows an increase in its overall score, driven by improvements in the ratio of women to men among technical workers, in the ratio of women’s estimated earned income over men’s estimated earned income and in the ratio of women’s labour force participation ratio versus that of men.

Still, those who think that the demand for equal pay is problematic should know that the UK  is in 61st place for equitable pay for similar work. Canada’s health care system leaves women’s health care at a puzzling 51.

The countries’ individual profiles, links to which are available here, are revealing.  For example, despite good scores on education and health, the exclusion of women in the economic and political domains leaves Japan at 91.  In short, with few exceptions, countries have much to worry about.  Not that one is surprised.

3 thoughts on “The World Economic Forum

  1. I wonder how much we can rely on the findings of this study. I checked out the profile of Canada. It claims that women won the vote in 1960. My politically active Canadian mother and Canadian grandmothers would be very surprised to learn this. Because Canada is a federal union, Canadian women won the vote in the provinces and nationally at different historical moments. In 1916, Manitoba was the first province to pass legislation allowing women to vote in provincial elections. Over the next nine years, the federal and most other provincial governments passed laws granting women the vote (1916-25). Quebec was the lone holdout, finally granting women the provincial suffrage in 1940. But that’s a far car from the World Economic Forum’s claim of 1960. Sheesh. I know people are ignorant about Canada, but this takes the cake.

  2. Introvertica,

    From what I can tell, it really isn’t true that “Canadian women” won the vote before 1960, since before then aboriginal women were not allowed to vote. So in 1916, Manitoba allowed some women to vote, but apparently not all.

    My grasp of Canadian history is not robust, and I don’t know how aboriginal women were excluded. Perhaps the vote was given to all female citizens, for example, and they just weren’t counted as citizens. But I wouldn’t expect the Forum’s statistics to take the exclusion as thereby legitimated for their statistics.

  3. PS, let me also say carefully that I don’t know how the 1960 granting of the vote to the aboriginal population related to voting in the provinces, so I should have been more cautious in using the Manitoba example.

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