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Pakistan second-worst country in gender equality
October 29, 2014, 11:25 am

Pakistan has emerged as the world's second-worst country in terms of gender equality, according to the annual Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum.

The report, published on Tuesday, measures the size of gender inequality in 142 countries in areas of economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation and highly-skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher levels of education), political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio).

In terms of equal economic participation and opportunity for women, Pakistan is ranked 141, followed by Yemen, 132 in empowerment terms of education attainment, 119 for health and survival and 85 for political empowerment.

Since 2006, when the WEF first began issuing its annual Global Gender Gap Reports, women in Pakistan have seen their access to economic participation and opportunity gone down to 141 from 112. It maintains the position of second to last ranking for the third year.

India's ranking fell from 101 out of 136 countries last year to 114 out of 142 countries this year.

According to the report, Iceland tops the list with the most equitable sharing of resources among men and women, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the top five spots. The other countries in the top 10 are Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ireland, the Philippines and Belgium.

The United States climbed three spots from last year to 20th, after narrowing its wage gap and hiking the number of women in parliamentary and ministerial level positions.

WEF said that the worldwide gender gap in the workplace had barely narrowed in the past nine years. While women are rapidly closing the gender gap with men in areas like health and education, inequality at work is not expected to be erased until 2095, the report added.

"Based on this trajectory, with all else remaining equal, it will take 81 years for the world to close this gap completely," the WEF said in a statement.

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