The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of the global gender gap and of efforts and insights to close it. The Index points to potential role models by revealing those countries that—within their region or their income group—are leaders in having divided resources more equitably between women and men than other countries have, regardless of the overall level of resources available. The Report’s detailed Country Profiles and online Data Explorer tool—available on the Report website (http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2017/dataexplorer)—not only allow users to understand how close each country has come to the equality benchmark in each of the four dimensions examined by the Index, but also provide a snapshot of the legal and social framework within which these outcomes are produced.
The magnitude of gender gaps in countries around the world is the combined result of various socioeconomic, policy and cultural variables. The Global Gender Gap Index was developed in 2006 partially to address the need for a consistent and comprehensive measure for gender equality that can track a country’s progress over time. The Index does not seek to set priorities for countries but rather to provide a comprehensive set of data and a clear method for tracking gaps on critical indicators so that countries may set priorities within their own economic, political and cultural contexts.
The Report continues to highlight the strong correlation between a country’s gender gap and its economic performance, and summarizes some of the latest research on the case for gender equality. This year, we also introduced a deeper analysis of gender gaps across industries and the role of gender-based occupational and skills imbalances. The Report highlights the message to policy-makers that countries that want to remain competitive and inclusive will need to make gender equality a critical part of their nation’s human capital development. In particular, learning between countries and public-private cooperation within countries will be critical elements of closing the gender gap.
We hope that the information contained in the Global Gender Gap Report series will serve as a basis for continued benchmarking by countries on their progress towards gender equality, help support the case for closing gender gaps and encourage further research on policies and practices that are effective at promoting change.