Pakistan ranks as the world’s second-worst country in terms of gender equality and equitable division of resources and opportunities among men and women, says a report published Friday.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013, published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with faculty at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, assesses 136 countries, representing more than 93 per cent of the world’s population, on how well resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations.

According to the index, Iceland tops the list with the most equitable sharing of resources among the sexes, followed closely by north European countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Pakistan comes down at 135, followed only by Yemen, and its score has fallen three spots since the study was conducted last year.

The comprehensive annual report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas, including economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation and highly skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher levels of education), political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio).

According to the index, Pakistan ranks second-worst in economic participation and opportunity, eighth-worst in terms of equal access to education, 13th from the bottom in terms of health and survival.

Surprisingly, the magnitude of disparities is much smaller in Pakistan when it comes to political empowerment and representation in decision-making structures among the two sexes, with a rank of 64 among 136 countries.

Among neighbouring countries, China ranked at 69, Bangladesh at 75, India at 101 and Iran at 130. Afghanistan was not included in the study.

Global gender gap narrows slightly in 2013

According to the report, gender disparity narrowed slightly in the current year on the back of definite if not universal improvements in economic equality and political participation between the sexes.

Overall, the report found Iceland the most advanced country in the world in terms of gender equality for the fifth year running. It, along with Finland (2nd), Norway (3rd) and Sweden (4th), has now closed over 80 per cent of its gender gap. These countries were joined in the top 10 by the Philippines, which enters the top five for the first time, Ireland (6th), New Zealand (7th), Denmark (8th), Switzerland (9th) and Nicaragua (10th).

At the global level, the report found that in 2013, 96 per cent of the health and survival gender gap has now been closed. “It is the only one of the four pillars that has widened since the report was first compiled in 2006.”

The global gender gap stands at 93 per cent in terms of education, with 25 countries having closed their gaps completely.

The report says gender gaps for economic equality and political participation are only 60 per cent and 21 per cent closed respectively, although progress is being made in these areas, with political participation narrowing by almost 2 per cent over the last year.

In both developing and developed countries alike, relative to the numbers of women in tertiary education and in the workforce overall, women’s presence in economic leadership positions is limited, it adds.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (31)

October 25, 2013 7:23 pm

The economic participation in most Scandinavian countries is because of high incidence of domestic violence on women rather than by choice of women .If the author looks into countries which leads in domestic violence on women he may have found Sweden on top followed by its neighbors.its only in Indian subcontinent women and men are paid equal salaries as far as government jobs are concerned perhaps its not so in west


October 25, 2013 7:59 pm

Oh so the country that has women fighter pilots does not treat it's women with equality.

October 25, 2013 8:09 pm

Another fundamental problem our media continues to ignore

October 25, 2013 8:15 pm

A country that has elected a female prime minister twice, has got a female head of central bank (State bank), has sent females to conquer mountain peaks, has female fighter pilots in airforce, has females as army and police officers, has females as member of parliament and minister has no objection to female driving, is behind a country (Saudi Arabia) that even does not allow women to drive a car. I am the last person on this planet to believe this report……

October 25, 2013 10:04 pm

shame pakistan

October 25, 2013 10:29 pm

So Sad!!! Pakistan missed out on the well deserved "First Place" HONOR. Pakistan needs to work on to get the HONOR. They way things are going, I am sure it will. It's only a matter of time.

Electric Warrior
October 25, 2013 11:07 pm

The report is biased and we should not be included because we have a different culture. the white man cant look after his wife and sends her to work to pay for their mortgage,debts etc. We men look after our wives and dependents so they can look after the house and children. Please don't include us in your messed up society and paint a negative picture of our country.

M aslam
October 25, 2013 11:41 pm

It is a misleading report. Pakistan is such a country where a women/girl start sharing the success of man by just marrying him. Without hard work of studying she become 'Dontorni', 'wakeelani' 'professorni' just after marriage. Believe me or not modern westerns womens loves culture of Pakistan/India. specially after passing the age of 25-30 years they start trying to find bride for themself who has qualities of eastern men. Like care, responsibility, taking load off shoulders of women.

Brent Jerlipz
October 25, 2013 11:58 pm

Long way to go! Kudos to the countries who made progress in narrowing the gender gap between men and women.

For the record, the top 10 countries included in the past 3 years, are as follows:

2013 rank 2012 rank 2011 rank 2010 rank 1. Iceland 1 1 1 2. Finland 2 3 3 3. Norway 3 2 2 4. Sweden 4 4 4 5. Philippines 8 8 9 6. Ireland 5 5 6 7. New Zealand 6 6 5 8. Denmark 7 7 7 9. Switzerland 10 10 10 10. Nicaragua 9 9 27


Saifur Rahman
October 26, 2013 3:27 am

Gender equality is the most important parameter that indicates where a country is actually heading and how civilized a nation really is. This is a pity that most of the countries of this subcontinent (including India) are still at the bottom and so are most of the Muslim countries of the world. But Bangladesh (rank 75) has shown some exceptions. Even though she is the newest country she has ranked second in this subcontinent [next to Sri Lanka (rank 55)] and amongst all the Muslim countries she is the best. Indonesia (95) Malaysia (102) and Turkey (120) are far behind Bangladesh!!

With regards to this remarkable achievement in narrowing the gap of gender equality in Bangladesh thanks must go Dr Md Yunus (Noble Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank) and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (founder BRAC--world’s largest social development organization). 95% of their beneficiaries are rural poverty stricken underprivileged women and in the last 30 years these two organizations have bought 35 million women out of the curses of illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. Underdeveloped countries have many important lessons to learn from these two great men who are assets of not only Bangladesh but of the whole underdeveloped world.

October 26, 2013 6:20 am

"Bad'naam hoongay to kya naam na hoga?"

October 26, 2013 6:33 am

Good study. But could you please spell out all the facts, figures and areas of comparisons. How may times a woman has been a president or prime minister of a country ? How many CEOs proportionately in the big companies ? How many lollypop girls ? How many athletes, how many cheer leaders ?... List goes on and on.

October 26, 2013 7:36 am

I work hard and pay my taxes. I am sick and tired of seeing my country decline with every passing day.

Ihtesham Kayani
October 26, 2013 10:42 am

We are better off without kind of equality the west promotes. Its not about equality, its killing of Islamic values and modesty.

Farooq Ali
October 26, 2013 11:55 am

Good research

October 26, 2013 12:45 pm

Where are Saudi Arabia, UAE and African states? BTW gap in economic equity means respect for women and that's fine.

October 26, 2013 12:38 pm

oh great another feather to the hat!!

October 26, 2013 2:28 pm

All such reports are half-baked, based on insufficient data and hence should be taken with a pinch of salt! In some, there is an element of wishful propaganda, too. Viewed even cursorily, there are countries in the Middle East and Africa outright worse off than Pakistan.

sattar rind
October 26, 2013 2:41 pm

We are eye witness what is going on in pakistan with women folk. No one paying attention more than half of the population of the country. They at the same time playing very. Important role in econamic of the country. But living in worst situation. Facing the domastic violance on one hand and being killed on fack honor issue on other hand. This situation is almost same in muslim word.

October 26, 2013 3:07 pm

If Pakistan wants to develop as a modern country we must educate not only our daughters, but those other daughters we know of in the family and outside it. We must educate them to university level and this is the springboard that will propel Pakistan not only up the ranks in this survey, it will propel us forward as a developed nation. We have to fight any cultural/religious based resistance, but at the end it will be these daughters who will fight the rest on their own.

October 26, 2013 8:41 pm

i doubt the accuracy of this report, where are saudis, afghans, arabs and many more. we have got women in army, they are flying fighter planes. we had a women head of state which even USA never had. the report is not rational.

October 27, 2013 12:14 am

I don't know who conducts these studies and how they arrive at these conclusions! Maybe , certain parts of Pakistan, you can see inequality - but I am positive most of Pakistan offers gender equality - much better and to a greater extent than many countries in the middle-east or even many countries in Africa. This is not to say that we can't do better - but to be labeled the second worst country in the world - I don't buy that.
Sometimes I wish someone could challenge these studies and not just take them as gospel.

Saifur Rahman
October 27, 2013 2:01 am

Bravo to Bangladesh (rank 75) for gender equity. Performed best in this subcontinent and also amongst all the Muslim countries.

October 27, 2013 7:34 am

Compare to 300 yrs of US Democracy Pakistani people elected twice woman at a top position.Noting against India but now Indian have a strong presence in western media and no wonder we hear this kind of stuff about Pakistan . But more disgusting our own people living abroad feeding them .

Haroon Rooha
October 27, 2013 7:49 am

Thanks to DAWN and its staff to dare publish the critically soul searching, progressive,and meaning full articles, which are relative to daily lives.Keep it up,You are safe gaurding your childern's sanity.

October 27, 2013 11:36 am

it is actually not as bad as the world thinks it is..atleast not in the bottom 2!!

Mr Khan
October 27, 2013 3:37 pm

@Umar: Oh so the country that has women fighter pilots does not treat it's women with equality.

According to the U.S. unless there are dance bar like those in Philippines and U.S., equality cannot be achieved.

October 27, 2013 3:52 pm

@M aslam: I am not sure what world you live in. "westerns womens love culture of Pakistan/India"??. Either you have no idea about Western women or you don't know the culture of India/Pakistan. Your comment lacks logic and I have no idea what you are trying to say.

October 28, 2013 6:04 am

The main three things for egaulity are EDUCATION, more education and much more education !!!

October 28, 2013 10:55 am

We are imitating the others for others without considering the ground realities and consequences too. Such surveys/reports are entirely based on against the ground realities. Reproducing such articles/reports are un-fair. We proud of Pakistan. There is no such differences in genders as reported.

Dr. Asad
October 28, 2013 2:25 pm

I agree with the report to some extend, women in Pakistan have way too many rights. They also forgot to add Afghanistan and other third-world countries to even out the chart. The writer who researched this study had it in for Pakistani people.

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