The international media is fond of posting images of a Pakistani woman being draped in a burqa. Well its depiction may be in line with the outcomes of the annual Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report reveals Pakistan as the world’s second-worst nation with regards to gender equality.
Faring gravely, Pakistan ranks 141 out of 142 countries in WEFs 2014 gender gap index, attaining subpar on parameters such as economic participation, educational attainment and health. It upholds the position of second to last ranking for the third consecutive year, with women continuing to be in a marginal position in various capacities and walks of life, in the home along with in the workplace.
The gender gap index was pioneered by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a basis for netting the extent of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. The index targets national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health as yardsticks.
Home to huge rural populations within which conventional mores hold sway, concerning equal economic participation for women, Pakistan is ranked 141, subsequently by Yemen, 132 in education attainment, 119 for health and 85 for political empowerment.
According to the report, Nordic countries consecrated with strong social democracies comprise the top five places in the rankings, starting with Iceland. China and India, the neighbouring countries were positioned at 87th and 114th positions.
The report states that there is not a single country in the world where women with same experiences are waged as much as men for doing the similar job, a figure that has improved merely four percentage points since 2006. In the corporate world, around 26 female CEOs are on the list of Fortune 500 companies. That is 5.2 percent only. Whereas during the period, 1992 and 2011, less than 10 percent of peace negotiators were female.
Hinging on this trajectory, ceteris paribus, it will take another 81 years before the global gender gap is closed completely.