Latin America and the Caribbean
With an average remaining gender gap of 30%, the Latin America and Caribbean region scores in the upper middle of the range of the Global Gender Gap Index, nearly tied with the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. The region is home to three of the top ten fastest-improving countries in the world since 2006: Nicaragua and Bolivia—which lead the regional rankings—and Ecuador, while the lowest-performing countries in the region are the Dominican Republic, Belize and Guatemala. Six countries in the region have fully closed both their Educational Attainment and Health and Survival gender gaps, the only region with this distinction.
Of the 25 countries covered by the Index in the region this year, 17 have improved their overall score compared to last year, while eight have regressed.
Nicaragua (10) regains its place in the global top ten and remains the best performer in the region for the fifth year in a row. It has fully closed its gender gap on Educational Attainment and Health and Survival, and is the highest ranking country in the region on Political Empowerment, with more than 50% of the gender gap now closed. Bolivia (23) records a slight decline in female labour force participation, but has reached parity in the number of women in parliament and has fully closed its Health and Survival gender gap. However, it is the second worst-performing country in the region on the Educational Attainment subindex. Costa Rica (32) continues to improve on Economic Participation and Opportunity. Its Educational Attainment gender gap has remained fully closed since 2011, and it ranks in the world’s top 20 for Political Empowerment, with more than 36% of its gender gap now closed. Cuba (27) continues to rank among the lowest countries in the region on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. However, it has fully closed its gender gap in Educational Attainment.
Barbados (28) remains among the best-performing countries in the region and the world on closing the Economic Opportunity gender gap, achieving parity at the level of female legislators, senior officials and managers. It continues to take the top rank among the Caribbean nations, followed by the Bahamas (37) and Trinidad and Tobago (44), which share similar profiles. Jamaica (42) continues to improve on Political Empowerment, with an increased share of women in parliament.
Argentina’s (33) gender gap on Health and Survival remains fully closed and the country continues to rank among the region’s top performers on the Political Empowerment subindex. However, despite solid performance on education, the country does not leverage its female talent well, ranking 101st on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. Colombia (39) improves on Economic Participation and Opportunity due to an increase in women’s labour force participation and estimated earned income, with parity at the level of legislators, senior officials and managers. Ecuador (40) continues to experience a reversal on its Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap, with setbacks across all categories except professional and technical workers, where it has reached parity. Its gender gap on Health and Survival remains fully closed.
Panama (47) and El Salvador (64) rank in the middle of the region, with, respectively, a slight increase and a slight decrease on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. Both countries have achieved gender parity on the Health and Survival subindex. Mexico (66) sees a decrease in the female share of professional and technical workers and remains among the lowest-performing countries in the region on this indicator. It maintains a stable performance across most other indicators. Chile (70) continues to make progress on Economic Participation and Opportunity due to increases in female labour force participation and the share of female professional and technical workers. However, it continues to rank among the region’s bottom three on this subindex. Continued improvement in the political participation of women is reflected in one more year of having a female head of state. Venezuela (74) records a decrease in women parliamentarians, while Peru (80) sees an increase. However, Peru remains the country with the widest health and survival gender gap in the region. Honduras (78) records improvements in women’s labour force participation and its gender gap on Educational Attainment remains fully closed. Brazil’s (79) improvements, due to a number of years with a female head of state, are counter-balanced by a larger labour force participation gender gap and the re-opening of its gender gap in Educational Attainment for the first time in five years. Uruguay (91) sees some progress on Educational Attainment but the gender gap remains open.
The bottom ranks of the region are made up of Suriname (95), Belize (98), Dominican Republic (97) and Paraguay (96), which overtakes Guatemala (105) due to improvements to its labour force participation gender gap and the number of female legislators, senior officials and managers. However, it remains the second-lowest performing country in the region on the Political Empowerment subindex.