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Insight Report

The Global
Gender Gap Report

Insight Report

The Global
Gender Gap Report

The Global Gender Gap Report is an insight tool published
annually by the World Economic Forum. The 2017 edition
of the Report features a range of unique contextual data
through a research collaboration with LinkedIn.

Professor Klaus Schwab
Founder and Executive Chairman
Richard Samans
Head of the Centre for the Global Agenda;
Member of the Managing Board
Saadia Zahidi
Head of Education, Gender and Work;
Member of the Executive Committee
Till Alexander Leopold
Project Lead, Education, Gender and Work
Vesselina Ratcheva
Data Lead, Education, Gender and Work

Professor Ricardo Hausmann
Director of the Center for International Development (CID)
and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development
at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Professor Laura D’Andrea Tyson
Director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at
the Haas School of Business and Chair of the Board of
Trustees of the Blum Center for Developing Economies
We are very grateful to Milorad Kovacevic, Chief Statistician
of the Human Development Report Office at the UNDP, and
to our colleagues in the Education, Gender and Work System
Initiative: Nada Abdoun, Piyamit Bing Chomprasob, Sofia
Michalopoulou, Paulina Padilla Ugarte, Valerie Peyre, Brittany
Robles, Theodore Roos, Pearl Samandari and Susan Wilkinson.
We gratefully acknowledge the outstanding support of LinkedIn’s
research team, including Nick Eng, Paul Ko, Rachel Bowley, Chris
Pham and Jackie Zhao. We also thank Nadiya Stasyshyn and
Sue Duke for their institutional engagement and coordination.
A special thank you to Michael Fisher for his excellent copyediting
work, Neil Weinberg for his superb graphic design and layout, and
to Kamal Kimaoui and the World Economic Forum’s Publications
team for their invaluable collaboration on the production of this
Report. We greatly appreciate, too, the outstanding work of design
firms Accurat, which created the Report’s Country Profiles and
online Data Explorer, and Graphéine, which created the cover.
World Economic Forum
91-93 route de la Capite
CH-1223 Cologny/Geneva
Tel.: +41 (0)22 869 1212
Fax: +41 (0)22 786 2744
E-mail: contact@weforum.org
©2017 World Economic Forum
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted
in any form or by any means, including photocopying and
recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system.
ISBN 978-1-944835-12-5


The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 (herein: “Report”) presents
information and data that were compiled and/or collected by
the World Economic Forum (all information and data referred
herein as “Data”). Data in this Report is subject to change
without notice.
The terms country and nation as used in this report do not in
all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood
by international law and practice. The term covers well-defined,
geographically self-contained economic areas that may not
be states but for which statistical data are maintained on a
separate and independent basis.
Although the World Economic Forum takes every reasonable
step to ensure that the Data thus compiled and/or collected
is accurately reflected in this Report, the World Economic
Forum, its agents, officers, and employees: (i) provide the Data
“as is, as available” and without warranty of any kind, either
express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties
of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement; (ii) make no representations, express or implied,
as to the accuracy of the Data contained in this Report or its
suitability for any particular purpose; (iii) accept no liability for
any use of the said Data or reliance placed on it, in particular,
for any interpretation, decisions, or actions based on the Data
in this Report.
Other parties may have ownership interests in some of the
Data contained in this Report. The World Economic Forum in
no way represents or warrants that it owns or controls all rights
in all Data, and the World Economic Forum will not be liable to
users for any claims brought against users by third parties in
connection with their use of any Data.
The World Economic Forum, its agents, officers, and
employees do not endorse or in any respect warrant any thirdparty products or services by virtue of any Data, material, or
content referred to or included in this Report.
Users shall not infringe upon the integrity of the Data and in
particular shall refrain from any act of alteration of the Data
that intentionally affects its nature or accuracy. If the Data is
materially transformed by the user, this must be stated explicitly
along with the required source citation.
For Data compiled by parties other than the World Economic
Forum, users must refer to these parties’ terms of use,
in particular concerning the attribution, distribution, and
reproduction of the Data.
When Data for which the World Economic Forum is the
source (herein “World Economic Forum”) is distributed or
reproduced, it must appear accurately and be attributed to the
World Economic Forum. This source attribution requirement is
attached to any use of Data, whether obtained directly from the
World Economic Forum or from a user.
Users who make World Economic Forum Data available to
other users through any type of distribution or download
environment agree to make reasonable efforts to communicate
and promote compliance by their end users with these terms.
Users who intend to sell World Economic Forum Data as
part of a database or as a standalone product must first
obtain the permission from the World Economic Forum





Key Findings




The Global Gender Gap Index 2017


Measuring the Global Gender Gap


Results and Analysis


Progress Over Time


Gender Gaps and Income


The Case for Gender Parity


Closing Occupational Gender Gaps

36 Conclusion
41 Appendices

Appendix A: Regional and Income Group Classifications, 2017




User’s Guide: Exploring the Global Gender Gap Index Data


List of Countries


Country Profiles

347 Contributors

System Initiative Partners

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017


Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Talent is one of the most essential factors for growth and
competitiveness. To build future economies that are both
dynamic and inclusive, we must ensure that everyone
has equal opportunity. When women and girls are not
integrated—as both beneficiary and shaper—the global
community loses out on skills, ideas and perspectives that
are critical for addressing global challenges and harnessing
new opportunities.
This report finds that, globally, gender parity is shifting
into reverse this year for the first time since the World
Economic Forum started measuring it. Yet there are also
many countries that have made considerable progress,
understanding that talent is a critical factor for growth.
These countries are poised for further success. This year’s
analysis also reveals gender gaps at the industry level and,
in particular, highlights that even though qualified women
are coming out of the education system, many industries
are failing to hire, retain and promote them, losing out on a
wealth of capacity.
As the world moves from capitalism into the era
of talentism, competitiveness on a national and on a
business level will be decided more than ever before by
the innovative capacity of a country or a company. In this
new context, the integration of women into the talent pool
becomes a must.
While no single measure can capture the complete
situation, the Global Gender Gap Index presented in this
report seeks to measure one important aspect of gender
equality: the relative gaps between women and men
across four key areas: health, education, economy and
The Index was developed in part to address the need
for a consistent and comprehensive measure for gender
equality that can track a country’s progress over time.
The Index does not seek to set priorities for countries
but, rather, to provide a comprehensive set of data and
a clear method for tracking gaps on critical indicators
so that countries may set priorities within their own
economic, political and cultural contexts. The Index also
points to potential role models by revealing those countries
that—within their region or income group—are leaders in
distributing resources more equitably between women and
men, regardless of the overall level of available resources.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

The Forum’s work in the System Initiative on Shaping
the Future of Education, Gender and Work provides
a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups to
collaborate, devise solutions and share best practices to
close gender gaps. In particular, because progress on
education has not resulted in equivalent gains for women in
earning opportunity, economic independence and
leadership, the Forum’s Closing the Gender Gap project
aims to accelerate the pace of change on gender parity
through global dialogue and a national public-private
cooperation model currently practiced in several futureready countries.
On behalf of the Forum, I would like to express my
appreciation to Till Alexander Leopold, Vesselina Ratcheva,
Richard Samans and Saadia Zahidi for their leadership of
this project. We greatly appreciate, too, the innovative data
collaboration with LinkedIn and the ongoing support of
Ricardo Hausmann and Laura D. Tyson. I would also like
to thank the whole team engaged in the System Initiative
on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work
for their support in shaping this project. Finally, we are
inspired by the leadership of the Stewards and Partners of
the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education,
Gender and Work.
It is our hope that this latest edition of the report will
serve as a call to action to governments to accelerate
gender equality through bolder policy-making, to
businesses to prioritize gender equality as a critical
economic and moral imperative and to all of us to become
deeply conscious of the choices we make every day that
impact gender equality globally. We call upon every reader
of this report to join these efforts.


Key Findings

The Global Gender Gap Index was first introduced by
the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for
capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and
tracking their progress over time. This year’s edition of
the Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress
towards gender parity on a scale from 0 (imparity) to
1 (parity) across four thematic dimensions—Economic
Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment,
Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment—
and provides country rankings that allow for effective
comparisons across regions and income groups. The
rankings are designed to create global awareness 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 methodology of the Index
has remained stable since its original conception in 2006,
providing a basis for robust cross-country and time-series
The 2017 Report’s key findings are:
• Weighted by population, in 2017, the average progress
on closing the global gender gap stands at 68.0%—
meaning an average gap of 32.0% remains to be closed
worldwide across the four Index dimensions in order
to achieve universal gender parity, compared to an
average gap of 31.7% last year.
• On average, the 144 countries covered in the Report
have closed 96% of the gap in health outcomes
between women and men, unchanged since last
year, and more than 95% of the gap in educational
attainment, a slight decrease compared to last year.
However, the gaps between women and men on
economic participation and political empowerment
remain wide: only 58% of the economic participation
gap has been closed—a second consecutive year of
reversed progress and the lowest value measured by
the Index since 2008—and about 23% of the political
gap, unchanged since last year against a long-term
trend of slow but steady improvement.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

• Despite this overall mixed picture and continued stalling
of progress at the global level, the situation is more
nuanced at the regional and country level. Out of the
142 countries covered by the Index both this year and
last year, 82 countries have increased their overall
gender gap score compared to last year, while 60
have seen it decrease. By contrast, last year’s Report
found negative outcomes in more than half of countries
surveyed. Moreover, as detailed in the Report, a
number of countries and regions have crossed symbolic
milestones on the path to gender parity for the first time
this year.
• Although this year’s edition of the Global Gender Gap
Index sees no new entrants to its top 10 list, there have
been notable rank changes. The top spots continue
to be held by smaller Western European countries,
particularly the Nordics that occupy the top three
positions, with two countries from the East Asia and
the Pacific region, one country from the Sub-Saharan
Africa region, one country from the Latin America and
the Caribbean region, and one country from the Eastern
Europe and Central Asia region also represented. All but
three countries in the Index top 10 have now crossed
the threshold of closing more than 80% of their overall
gender gap—up from five both last year and in 2015.
• At a global level, in 2017 four regions have a remaining
gender gap of less than 30%—two of which are
crossing this threshold for the first time this year.
Western Europe records a remaining gender gap of
25%, placing it ahead of North America, with a gap of
28%, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with a gap of
29%, and Latin America and the Caribbean, with a gap
of 29.8%. The East Asia and the Pacific region ranks
ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a remaining gender
gap of 31.7% and 32.4%, respectively, and South Asia,
with a gap of 34%. The Middle East and North Africa
region, for the first time this year, crosses the threshold
of having a remaining gender gap of slightly less than


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