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Pakistan slightly ups its gender equality slot

KARACHI: Pakistan climbed up three notches in the Global Gender Gap Report 2023, issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), by ranking 142nd in the list of 146 nations — just above Iran, Algeria, Chad, and Afghanistan.

It is the highest ranking of the country since 2006, according to the global report.

Pakistan’s overall parity reached 57% with wide gaps in educational attainment, political empowerment, and many other domains.

The report points to an improvement in the ‘economic participation and opportunity’ sub-index in the last decade to attain 36.2% parity, which is still one of the lowest globally.

It noted progress in Pakistan, particularly in the share of women technical workers and wage equality.

“Despite relatively high disparities, parity in literacy rate and enrolment in secondary and tertiary education are gradually advancing, leading to 82.5% parity on the ‘educational attainment’ sub-index,” the report read.

On ‘health and survival’, the report stated that Pakistan secured parity in sex ratio at birth, boosting the sub-index parity by 1.7 percentage points since 2022.

It added that like in many other countries, Pakistan’s widest gender gap was on ‘political empowerment’, which stood at 15.2%.

The report further read that Pakistan had a woman head of government for 4.7 years in the last 50 years.

Besides, one-tenth of its ministers, as well as one-fifth of parliamentarians, were women.

The report observed that populous countries including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — along with Bhutan — in this region had seen an improvement of 0.5 percentage points or more in their scores since the last edition.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan are at the bottom of both the regional and global ranking tables,” the report continued.

“At the current rate of progress, full parity will be achieved in 149 years,” the WEF predicted in the report.

Last year, Pakistan was ranked as the second-worst country in terms of gender parity, placing 145 out of 146 nations, according to the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report.

Pakistan was also ranked as the second-worst country in the region in 2022.

According to the report, Bangladesh, which was ranked 71 globally, was the top country in the region, followed by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

South Asia had one of the lowest regional gender parity scores for the health and survival sub-index, at 94.2%, the report stated.

“In this sub-index, only Sri Lanka has closed its gender gap, while Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India are among the worst-performing countries globally,” it added.

Source: The Express Tribune