UK’s global gender equality ranking slips

18 December 2019

Due to the fact that there is continued inequality in the workplace and a consistently recognised gender pay gap, the UK has been demoted from 15th to 21st place on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report.

The report ranks 153 countries in terms of their gender equality and looks at the variations in pay for men and women, equality in education and literacy and the political representation of and for women. The UK was placed ahead of the Unites States but fell behind Germany, New Zealand and Canada and also behind less developed countries, like Nicaragua and the Philippines.

As a result of the UK’s lower ranking on this year’s list, employment experts have asserted that there needs to be more robust processes in place to combat discrimination in the workplace and to promote flexible working so that both men and women can position their working life against their home and family life.

The UK did perform well in certain areas, but it was still reported that there were inconsistencies in the pay of women and their male counterparts. It was felt that there was poor political representation for women within the UK and this also attributed to the lower place it was awarded this year.

Sam Smethers, the chief executive of The Fawcett Society, a group who campaign for women’s rights and gender equality, commented:

“We need a strategy for gender equality that addresses intersectional inequality, recognising that women of colour are doubly disadvantaged, tackles the underlying causes of the gap and removes the barriers to women’s economic and political participation.

.The fact that the UK has slipped down the international league tables and it will take generations to close the gender pay gap should act as a big wake-up call for the government.” 

The Fawcett Society also believe that women should have a legal right to find out what their male colleagues are being paid if they suspect that discrimination is rife. They want tougher employment regulations to be implemented in relation to the issue of gender discrimination.

On a global scale, the WEF predicts that it would take 99.5 years for women to be on an equal footing with men, in terms of social-economic and gender parity.

The top ten countries are listed below:

1.Iceland

2.Norway

3.Finland

4.Sweden

5.Nicaragua

6.New Zealand

7.Ireland

8.Spain

9.Rwanda

10.Germany

 


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