The Global Gender Gap Index 2014:
The Global Gender Gap Index results in 2014
Country Coverage 2014
We aim to include a maximum number of countries in the Report every year, within the constraints posed by data availability. To be included in the Report, a country must have data available for a minimum of 12 indicators out of the 14 that make up the Index. In 2014, we have been able to include 142 countries in the Report. Of these, 111 have been included in the Report since the first edition in 2006.
Nearly 200 countries were considered for inclusion this year. Out of the 142 ultimately covered in this Report, 38 countries had one data point missing and 22 countries had two data points missing. Missing data is clearly marked on each relevant Country Profile.
Last year we included 136 countries in the Index. Due to lack of updated data, we have removed Benin and Cameroon from the Report in 2014. However, we were able to include eight new countries—Belarus, Tunisia and Zimbabwe re-entered the rankings and Guinea, Liberia, Montenegro, Rwanda and Swaziland entered for the first time—resulting in a total of 142 countries.
The detailed rankings from this year’s Index are shown in Tables 3 through 6.
Table 3 displays the 2014 index and subdindex rankings, organized from highest to lowest by rank on the overall index. No country in the world has fully closed the gender gap, but all five of the Nordic countries have closed more than 80% of it. Yemen, the lowest ranking country has closed just over 50% of the gender gap. For further analysis of countries, refer to the Country Results section.
Performance by Subindex, 2014
Table 4 displays the rankings by subindex, organized highest to lowest by rank per subindex. In 2014, 25 countries have fully closed the gap in Educational Attainment (same as last year). Angola, Ethiopia, Yemen, Guinea and Chad hold the last five spots on this subindex, with Yemen and Chad having closed less than 70% of their education gender gap. In total, there are 22 countries where women still have less than 90% of the education outcomes that men have. Twenty-nine countries are below world average (weighted by population) on that subindex. While the index takes into account four key indicators to measure the gender gap on education outcomes, the Country Profiles provide additional information on the gaps between women and men on STEM education and PhD degrees.
Thirty-five countries (two more than last year) have fully closed the gap in Health and Survival. Vietnam, Albania, China, India and Armenia are the lowest-ranking countries and no country currently has a gap bigger than 90% on this subindex. Only 9 countries are below world average (weighted by population) on that subindex. While the index takes into account two key measures of gender gaps, this year we have introduced additional contextual information in the Country Profiles that reveals differences between male and female outcomes from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and malnutrition. Additionally, the Country Profiles contain detailed information on maternal health and fertility.
While eight countries—Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, France, Guyana, Latvia, Namibia, and the Philippines—have fully closed the gap on both the health and education subindexes, no country has closed either the economic participation gap or the political empowerment gap.
On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, 14 countries have closed more than 80% of gap, including from from Sub-Saharan Africa and five from Europe and Central Asia. Burundi, Norway, Malawi, the United States and the Bahamas occupy the top five spots on this subindex. Seventeen countries have closed less than 50% of the economic participation and opportunity gap, including 11 from the Middle East and North Africa region. Yemen, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and Syria hold the last five spots on this subindex. Thirty-four countries are below world average (weighted by population) on that subindex. The Country Profiles include further data on employment and leadership.
On political empowerment, only Iceland and Finland have closed more than 60% of the gender gap. Thirty-seven countries have closed less than 10% of the political empowerment gender gap, including 10 from the Middle East and North Africa region, nine from Asia and the Pacific and four from Sub-Saharan Africa. Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon and Brunei Darussalam have the lowest rankings on this subindex, having closed less than 3% of the political gender gap. Ninety-eight countries are below world average (weighted by population) on that subindex, including Brunei Darussalam, which has a score of zero. The Country Profiles present detailed information on Parliamentary quota type and voluntary political party quotas.
Figure 1 shows a global snapshot of the gender gap in the four subindexes. It shows that the 142 countries covered in the Report have closed almost 96% of the gap in health outcomes between women and men and almost 94% of the gap in Educational Attainment. However, the gap between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remains wide: only 60% of the economic outcomes gap and only 21% of the political outcomes gap has been closed.
Performance by Region, 2014
Table 5 displays the rankings by regional classification, organized by rank within each regional group. In 2014, 7 out of the 24 countries from Asia and the Pacific have closed over 70% of the gap, with the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia in the lead. At the bottom end of the rankings two countries from the region—Iran and Pakistan—have closed less than 60% of the gender gap. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 14 of the 26 countries in the region have closed over 70% of the gender gap. Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba occupy the top three spots. The lowest ranking country in the region—Suriname—has closed a little over 65% of its gender gap. In the Middle East and North Africa region, only Israel has closed over 70% of the gender gap, while five countries have closed less than 60% of the gender gap. Canada and the United States have both closed nearly 75% of the gender gap. In Sub-Saharan Africa, out of 28 countries covered, 13 have closed over 70% of the gender gap, with Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa in the lead, while three countries have closed less than 60% of the gap. In Europe and Central Asia, out of 46 countries, five countries have closed over 80% of the gap, while 18 countries have closed less than 70%.
Figures 2 through 6 show the spread of scores for the overall Index as well as the four subindexes by region. In addition population-weighted group averages are provided in each figure. Readers should note that the figures for the Global Index, Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex and Political Empowerment subindex display the full scale of 0.00 to 1.00 while the figures for the Health and Survival and Educational Attainment subindexes display the scale only from 0.50 to 1.00 for improving visual clarity. This particular distinction in scales for the four subindexes is used in all relevant figures in this chapter.
Figure 2 shows the spread of country scores within each region as well as regional averages on the overall Global Gender Gap Index. North America holds the top spot, with the United States and Canada at almost the same score. Europe and Central Asia is next with a wide spread among the 46 countries covered. The Latin America and the Caribbean region follows, with a regional group average of just over 70% of the gap being closed. Next is Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific. Last in order of average scores is Middle East and North Africa, with its highest-scoring country placing below the regional averages for all the other five regions.
Figure 3 displays the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex results by region. North America has the highest average (82% of its economic gender gap is closed), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific and Middle East and North Africa (42% of its economic gender gap is closed). There are significant variations within regions, with clear laggards and leaders.
Figure 4 displays the Educational Attainment subindex results by region. North America is again in the lead, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and Central Asia. Each of these regions has closed over 99% of the gender gap. Middle East and North Africa and Asia and the Pacific follow next, each having closed approximately 93% of the education gender gap. The lowest average comes from Sub-Saharan Africa at 82%.
Figure 5 displays the Health and Survival subindex results by region. While all regions are close to parity, differences in averages are driven primarily by a few underperforming countries in some regions, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe and Central Asia.
Figure 6 displays the Political Empowerment subindex results by region. In terms of averages, the highest-ranking region is Asia and the Pacific (23% of its political empowerment gap is closed), followed by Europe and Central Asia (21%), although the highest scoring countries are in Europe and Central Asia. In order of regional averages, Latin America (21%) and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa (20%), North America (19%) and Middle East and North Africa (8%) follow next.
Performance by Income Group, 2014
Table 6 displays the rankings by income group, organized by rank, within low income, lower-middle income, upper-middle income and high-income groups. (Table A2 in Appendix A displays the income group categories used). In 2014, among the 49 countries in the high-income group, the Nordic countries lead the way while Qatar, Korea, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia are the lowest performing countries in this category. Among the 40 countries in the upper-middle income group, South Africa, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Cuba and Argentina lead the way, while the last spots are occupied by Turkey, Algeria Jordan, Lebanon and Iran. In the lower-middle income group, out of 34 countries, Nicaragua, Philippines, Moldova, Lesotho and Mongolia take the top 5 places, whereas Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen occupy the last five spots. In the low-income group, out of 19 countries, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya come out on top and Nepal, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali and Chad hold the last spots.
Figures 7 through 11 show the spread of scores for the overall Index as well as the four subindexes by income group. In addition population-weighted group averages are provided. Figure 7 shows the spread of country scores within each income group as well as income-group averages on the overall Global Gender Gap Index. High-income countries have the highest average score (nearly 72%), followed by upper middle-income countries (68.2%) and low-income countries (68%) then lower middle-income countries (nearly 65%).
Figure 8 displays the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex results by income group. High-income countries (71%) are again in the lead, followed by low-income countries (63.3%), which also have the highest overall performer within this category. Next are upper middle-income countries (63.2%) and in the last place are lower middle-income countries (49%).
Figure 9 displays the Educational Attainment subindex results by income group. High-income countries have nearly closed the gap in education (99.4%) while upper middle-income countries are close behind (98.2%). Lower middle-income countries, however, have more mixed performance, with countries that have fully closed the gap as well as countries that have closed just a little over 70% of it and a mean of 87.8%. Low-income countries are farthest behind at 85.7%.
Figure 10 displays the Health and Survival Subindex results by income group. All regions have closed over 95% of the health gap, with high income countries in the lead followed by low income, upper middle income and lower middle income countries. Because the averages are weighted by population size, and in an otherwise fairly homogenous subindex, India and China’s poor performance in the upper-middle and lower-middle income categories drives the income group order by average.
Figure 11 displays the Political Empowerment subindex results by income group. Lower-middle income (26.5%) and low-income (26.1%) countries trump high-income (20%) and upper-middle income (15.8%) countries in political empowerment averages by income group. Nonetheless, the highest scoring country on this subindex belongs to the high-income group.
Appendix D provides the spread in 2014 of the data for male and female values for all 14 indicators used in the Index in a single visualization. Appendix E contains detailed data tables, in rank order, for all 14 indicators included in the Index for all countries where data was available in 2014.