Results and Analysis
Country Coverage, 2017
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 2017, we have been able to include 144 countries in the Report. Of these, 106 have consistently been included in the Report every year since the first edition published in 2006.
Nearly 200 countries were considered for inclusion in the Index this year. Out of the 144 ultimately covered in this Report, 23 countries had one data point missing and, in addition, seven further countries had two data points missing. Missing data is clearly marked on each relevant Country Profile. This year’s Report features one new country never previously covered by the Index, Myanmar, and one country not covered in last year’s edition, Fiji.
The Global Gender Gap Report groups countries into eight broader geographical groupings: East Asia and the Pacific; Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; Middle East and North Africa; North America; South Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; and Western Europe. The classification of countries according to these categories is detailed in Appendix A.
Figure 1 provides a global snapshot of the gender gap in the four subindexes. It shows that, on average, the 144 countries covered in the Report have closed 96% of the gap in health outcomes between women and men, unchanged since last year, and more than 95% of the gap in educational attainment, a slight decrease compared to last year, which marked the highest value ever measured for this subindex. However, the gaps between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remain wide: only 58% of the economic participation gap has been closed—a second consecutive year of reversed progress and the lowest value measured by the Index since 2008—and about 23% of the political gap, unchanged since last year against a long-term trend of slow but steady improvement. Weighted by population, in 2017, the average progress on closing the global gender gap stands at a score of 0.680—which means that an average gap of 32% remains to be closed worldwide across the four Index dimensions in order to achieve universal gender parity. Last year that average gap was 31.7%.
Despite this overall mixed picture and continued stalling of progress at the global level, the situation is more nuanced at the regional and country level. Out of the 142 countries covered by the Index both this year and last year, 82 countries have increased their overall gender gap score compared to last year, while 60 have seen it decrease. By contrast, last year’s Report had found negative outcomes in more than half of countries surveyed. Moreover, as detailed in the following sections of the Report, while a number of countries and regions have crossed symbolic milestones on the path to gender parity for the first time this year, a number of major economies and high-population countries have experienced reversals on their past progress this year.
Table 3 below displays the 2017 Index and subindex rankings, organized from highest to lowest by rank on the overall Index. Figure 2 visualizes the 2017 overall Index results, organized by size of countries’ overall gender gaps left to be closed. No country in the world has fully closed its gender gap, but four out of the five Nordic countries and, for the first time this year, one country each from the Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions—Rwanda, Nicaragua and Slovenia—have closed more than 80% of theirs. Yemen, the lowest-ranking country, has closed slightly less than 52% of its gender gap. For further analysis, refer to the Performance by Subindex, Top 10, and Performance by Region and Country sections.