World Economic Forum report on “The Global Gender Gap Report 2018” showed that it will take up to 202 years for economic equality between men and women, and 107 years for the world to achieve political equality. Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of World Economic Forum (WEF), said that equal contribution of women and men is needed to make economic and societal transformation. “More than ever, societies cannot afford to lose out on skills, ideas, and perspectives of half of humanity,” he added. Likewise, according to the report, while economic opportunity gaps has slightly reduced this year, progress has been slow, especially in terms of women’s participation in the labour force where the gender gap slightly reversed.
WEF calculated there is about 58 percent gap between economic participation and opportunity for women. One of biggest factors contributing to this gap is lack of leadership opportunities available to women. As stated in the report, “In the workplace, women still encounter significant obstacles in taking on managerial or senior official roles. When we consider only managers for the subset of countries for which recent data are available, just about 34 percent of global managers are women.” Additionally, on average, women only make 63 percent for the same work as men. They earn 50 percent less than men each year. Across 29 countries in the report, women spend twice as much time as men doing work that is unpaid.
Following to WEF study, a recent study from World Bank on “Women, Business, and The Law 2019” revealed that our world is moving very slowly toward legal gender equality. Yet, it is still a good progress. About 10 years ago, there was not a single country giving women equal rights. Since then, 35 countries have passed laws against sexual harassment at work, and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have passed 71 reforms giving women more rights such as protection from domestic violation. World Bank study ranked 187 countries on whether women can travel, work, earn, marry, have kids, and retire with the same right as men. It found out that women have just three quarters of the rights that men have, on average except for these countries:
Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank group interim president, said that if women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, we will see a more prosperous world. “Changing is happening, but not as fast enough, and 2.7 billion women are still legally barred from having the same choice of jobs as men,” Georgieva added.
France is a country that gives biggest influence over past decade for implementing a domestic violence law by providing criminal penalties for workplace sexual harassment and introducing paid paternal leave. The other nations are working towards better equality for women. If the world works together to better gender gap, our economic status will get better as gender gap in workforce could add $28 trillion to global GPD – nearly the size of the US and Chinese economies combined.