Analysis: The Gender Report 2013

by Developed Africa 6. November 2013 09:00

Last week the World Economic Forum published its 8th Gender Report, providing statistics on the improvements or set backs different countries have had in the past year.

The report provides a good base of statistics and data from which many NGOs and researchers can work from. There are many different categories and indicators included in the study, which are then rounded together to create the overall score, which places each country in an overall ranking: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.

The highest ranking African countries on the list have achieved their positions on it in a variety of ways. For example, South Africa ranks at 17 this year (one place above the UK), and within sub-Saharan Africa it has done the best in the category 'Political Empowerment' and holds

the fifth position on the Women in parliament indicator and the eleventh on the Women in ministerial positions indicator."

Lesotho is the highest scoring African country this year, ranking 16, as well as having scored the highest mark on both education and health, having successfully closed the gender gap in both areas.

Lesotho is the third best performer of the lower-middle income countries and is among the highest climbers within the 110 countries that have been included in the Report since 2006."

What is important to take away from the report, other the high-flyers, is the progress that many other countries have made in this area. Despite still remaining fairly low in the rankings, it is encouraging to see improvement. For instance, despite having made a large fall down the list, Mauritania completely closed the gender gap in the health and survival sector; in a similar situation, Cape Verde has the highest number of women in ministerial positions in Sub-Saharan Africa; Senegal, now at 67 has made a climb due to its ranking at 3rd in the percentage of women in parliament indicator with women making up 43% of parliament.

But a clear message from the report is the fact that it shouldn't just be down to governments to make the changes, it is businesses that need to put in the work too:

While governments have an important role to play in creating the right policy framework for improving women’s access and opportunities, it is also the imperative of companies to create workplaces where the best talent can flourish."

 

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