Gender gap in sub-Saharan Africa ‘will take 135 years to close’

According to the WEF, there is a 32% disparity between men and women that needs to be closed on a global level. This may well take up to 108 years.

According to the report, the largest gender gap is in the political realm, with a global average of 77.1%. Out of the 149 countries assessed, only 17 have women as heads of state. On a global average, 18% of women are ministers and only 24% are parliamentarians.

In business, only 34% of women hold managerial positions in the assessed countries, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan identified as the worst performing with less than 7%.

The report reveals that Scandinavia rules in terms of gender equality. Iceland is the most gender-equal country, with about 85% of the gender gap already closed. Iceland is followed by Norway at 83.5% and Sweden and Finland at 82.2%.

There are still 44 countries where more than 20% of women are illiterate. 

On average, 65% of girls and 66% of boys have enrolled in secondary education globally, while 39% of women and 34% of men are enrolled in tertiary institutions.

Despite rapid advancements in technology, only 22% of artificial intelligence (AI) professionals – seen as a key industry for the future – are women.

The most challenging gender gaps to be closed are the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take 202 and 107 years to close respectively.

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