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Australia lags in global gender equality rankings

Australia has failed to make the top 40 in global rankings for gender equality, coming in at 44 out of 153 on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Index.

The situation appears to be getting worse, rather than better,
having dropped five places in two years and is a far cry from Australia’s ranking at number 15 in 2006.

Australia is not even in the top 10 in East Asia and the Pacific, sitting below the Philippines and Laos. While across the ditch, New Zealand sits at six globally.

Australia does, however, continue to lead the world in closing the education gap, with gender parity around access to literacy and numeracy skills.

The country ranks 49th on the economic participation gap, which measures wages, employment and workforce representation.

The poor representation of women in politics has seen Australia ranked at 57, having closed just 23 per cent of the gap.

The index pointed to a poor number of women in parliament, ministerial positions and the small number of years with a woman as national leader. 

Australia was number 12 when it came to economic participation, 32 on political empowerment and 57 on health.

The forum warns internationally, at the current rate of efforts being made, the gender pay gap won’t be closed for 257 years.

Founder Klaus Schwab said the report highlighted a growing urgency for action.

“At the dawn of the 2020s, building fairer and more inclusive economies must be the goal of global, national and industry leaders,” he said.

Iceland was the most equal country overall, followed by Norway and Finland respectively.

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