Gender Gap Index 2014 makes case for gender equality ; Underdevelopment & politics pull Ethiopia backwards

28 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Through its Global Gender Gap Report 2014, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracks their progress over time. Aware that no single measure can capture the complete situation, the Global Gender Gap Index is now measuring one important aspect of gender equality – the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.

Out of 142 countries, the Global To Ten are: Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ireland, Philippine and Belgium. Click here to see the whole gender gap ranking list.

The top tens by Income Groups are shown in the table below:

Top Tens by Income Groups (Credit: WEF)

Top Tens by Income Groups (Credit: WEF)

[Click on the table to magnify]

Cick here for interactive map:

Sub-Saharan Africa’s top ten

Sub-Saharan Africa's top ten 2014 How does Ethiopia figure in the gender gap index?:The report states that, at the ranking of 127 out of 142 countries, Ethiopia saw its overall score fall, with specific decreases on the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival subindexes. Other shortcomings reported include, Ethiopia being one of the lowest performing countries in the region when it comes to:

    (a) Professional and technical workers, thanks to the poor quality of education and brain drain and; and

    (b) Lowest result on Antenatal care coverage, at least one visit (%) and Births attended by skilled health personnel (%).

The overall profile of Ethiopia as pertains the gender gap, the following metrics have been provided in the report:

Ethiopia's gender ranking by indicator 2014 [click table to magnify]

Summing it up

In making the case for gender equality, the Global Gender Gap Index 2014 argues:

The most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its human talent—the skills and productivity of its workforce. Similarly, an organization’s performance is determined by the human capital that it possesses and its ability to use this resource efficiently.

Ensuring the healthy development and appropriate use of half of the world’s available talent pool thus has a vast bearing on how competitive a country may become or how efficient a company may be.

As stated above, the Global Gender Gap Index takes into account four critical areas when measuring the gaps between women and men’s access to resources and opportunities. For each of these areas, there are economic or societal gains from increased gender parity.

The report also states that the multiplier effect of education on several aspects of development as well as its impact on economic growth is now commonly accepted: education reduces high fertility rates, lowers infant and child mortality rates, lowers maternal mortality rates, increases labour force participation rates and earnings and fosters further educational investment in children.

Regarding the health dividend, the report highlights that a one-year increase in health expectancy could raise GDP by up to 4 percent.

In making the case for improved and equal employment, the report states that having more women in the workforce contributes to economic performance through several pathways. According to one study, greater female participation in the U.S. workforce since 1970 accounts for a quarter of current GDP. It also argues that limiting women’s access to labour markets is costly. For example, Asia and the Pacific reportedly loses US$42 billion to US$47 billion annually as a region because of women’s limited access to employment opportunities.

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