International Women’s Day: Pondering the gender gap

International Women’s Day: Pondering the gender gap

March 08, 2011 at 03:03am

Annually on 8 March, to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) thousands of events are held across the world to inspire women and acknowledge achievements. It is even a national holiday in 27 countries! Every year there is a global and local theme, this year’s global theme is equal access to education, training and science and technology. IWD has been observed since the early 1900’s and today it can be said that as far as women’s empowerment goes, the world has come a good way, but has a long way to go.

In light of IWD and to demonstrate some progress, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Gender Gap Report findings are worth shedding light upon. Gender gaps have an impact on competitiveness; measuring the size of the gap and issue is necessary to find solutions. For the last five years, WEF has been quantifying and measuring the magnitude of gender-based disparities and identifying a benchmark amongst countries.

The Global Gender Gap Report’s index assesses 134 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources. The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas: Economic participation and opportunity; Educational attainment; Health and survival; and Political empowerment.

From the region, the UAE’s gender gap index ranking went up notably from 112 in 2009 to 103 in 2010, and Bahrain’s rank went up from 116 in 2009 to 110 in 2010. Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Syria’s rankings have not shown much change from 2009 to 2010.
What do you think are the key issues hindering women’s empowerment in the region? How can they be fixed?

Do you have any IWD initiatives in your country? Share them with us here!

Read more:
International women’s day
2010 WEF Gender Gap Report
GE Women’s Network

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