It will take 132 years to achieve full gender parity worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report published July 13.
The Global Gender Gap Index began tracking the gender gap worldwide in 2006, when the initiative launched. This year, the index studied 146 countries.
The index measures progress towards gender parity in a percentage, with full gender equality valued at 100%. In 2022, the report states that the global gender gap is 68.1% closed.
Before 2020, the gender gap was projected to close within the next 100 years. The COVID-19 pandemic stalled the global rate of progress in closing the gender gap significantly: in 2021, it was estimated that it would take 136 years to achieve gender parity.
No country had achieved full gender parity at the time of the report.
Globally, the top 10 economies have closed at least 80% of the gender gap in their countries. First in the global ranking is Iceland, which has achieved 90.8% gender parity. Scandinavian countries occupy the top five positions in the highest achievements of gender parity worldwide.
Across the globe, the Health and Survival gender gap is 95.8% closed, the Educational Attainment gap is 94.4% closed, and the Economic Participation and Opportunity gap is 60.3% closed. The Political Empowerment gender gap remains vast, at 22% closed.
The report estimates that it will take 155 years to close the Political Empowerment gender gap worldwide. The Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap is estimated to close in 151 years, while the Educational Attainment gender gap will take an estimated 22 years to close. The number of years it will take to close the Health and Survival gender gap is undefined by the report, as progress towards this end has stalled.
From 2021 to 2022, the global gender parity score has increased from 67.9% to 68.1%.
North America, the region nearest to achieving gender parity worldwide, has closed 76.9% of the gender gap. The report estimates that it will fully close the gender gap in 59 years. Europe follows close behind, at 76.6% gender parity.
By contrast, the report assessed South Asia as having the lowest rate of gender parity, as the region has only closed 62.3% of the gender gap as of 2022. Most individual South Asian countries studied in the report had stalled progress toward gender parity. At this rate, the report estimates that it will take 197 years to close the gender gap in the region.
The report measures the 2022 level of gender parity as 62.9% within the global workforce. This is the lowest level of gender parity recorded since the Global Gender Gap Index’s inception in 2006.
According to the report, the rate of gender parity in the workforce has been steadily declining since 2009, dropped precipitously in 2020, and has not recovered to date.
The report acknowledges that factors such as “long-standing structural barriers, socioeconomic and technological transformation,” and “economic shocks” affect women’s economic outcomes in the workforce.
“Societal expectations, employer policies, the legal environment and the availability of care continue to play an important role in the choice of educational tracks and career trajectories,” the report said.
As women often fall into the role of primary caretaker within families with children, events such as global conflict and climate change tend to disproportionately affect the outcomes of women in the workforce.
“With rising childcare costs, there is a high risk that an asymmetric demand to provide unpaid care work will continue to be imposed on women,” the report stated.
Consistently, the report finds that “women continue to earn and accumulate wealth at lower levels.”
The full report may be found here.