Performance by Region and Country
The Global Gender Gap Index reveals that all countries can do more to close the gender gap. Across the Index, there are only five countries that have closed 80% of the gap or more. In addition, there are 64 countries that have closed between 70% and 80% of their gender gap. A further 65 countries have closed between 60% and 70%, while 10 countries have closed between 50% and 60%. In 2016, no country had closed less than 50% of their overall gender gap. However, there is wide variety in progress on closing the gender gap in every world region, with both success stories and underperforming countries in each. Table 5 displays this year’s rankings by regional classification, organized by rank within each regional group.
Figure 3 shows the average gap that remains to be closed in each world region, based on the Report’s updated regional classification. At a global level, only two regions—Western Europe and North America—have a remaining gender gap of less than 30%, at 25% and 28%, respectively. Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are virtually tied at a remaining gender gap of exactly 30% each. They are followed by East Asia and the Pacific, with a remaining gender gap of 31.7%, Sub-Saharan Africa, with a gap of 32.1%, and South Asia, with a gap of 33%. The Middle East and North Africa region is yet to close a gender gap of just under 40%. The reader should note that population-weighted group averages are used throughout the Report.
Figure 4 shows the range of country scores on the overall Index for each region. It reveals, for example, that, despite its high regional average, there is wide spread of outcomes among the 20 countries covered in the Western Europe region. A similarly wide spread of country performance also exists among the 30 countries covered in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Here, this diversity of outcomes is frequently driven by different performance on the Educational Attainment subindex. In other regions, the largest diversity of outcomes exists across the Economic Participation and Opportunity and Political Empowerment subindexes, while performance differences across the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival subindexes tend to be comparatively minor. A detailed discussion of regional and country-level results follows below.