The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 seeks to measure one important aspect of gender equality: the relative gaps between women and men across the pillars of health, education, economy and politics. The Report benchmarks national gender gaps of 142 countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four fundamental areas: economic participation and opportunity, education, health and survival, and political empowerment. This ninth edition of the Index, allowing for time-series analysis on the changing patterns of gender equality around the world and comparisons between and within countries.
The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.
The 2014 Report emphasises persisting gender gap divides across and within regions. Based on the nine years of data available for the 111 countries that have been part of the report since its inception in 2006, the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace. The gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006.
While the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity lags stubbornly behind, the gap for political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured, remains wider still, standing at 21%, although this area has seen the most improvement since 2006.
The Reports findings show that Iceland continues to be at the top of the overall rankings in The Global Gender Gap Index for the sixth consecutive year. Finland ranks in second position, and Norway holds the third place in the overall ranking. Sweden remains in fourth position and Denmark gains three places and ranks this year at the fifth position. Northern European countries dominate the top 10 with Ireland in the eighth position and Belgium (10) Nicaragua (6), Rwanda (7) and Philippines (9) complete the top 10.