Bangladesh most gender equal country in South Asia
Close behind is Sri Lanka at second place with Pakistan lagging far behind.
For the fourth time in a row, Bangladesh held the top position among South Asian countries in ensuring gender equality.
The country has slipped only one notch down to the 48th position among 149 countries worldwide, but is still ahead of all other countries in Asia except the Philippines, according to World Economic Forum’s ‘The Global Gender Gap Report 2018’ published on Monday.
“Bangladesh consolidates its position as the region’s top performer and breaks into the top five in the global index on the Political Empowerment sub-index this year, recording progress on closing its political gender gap, despite a widening gender gap in terms of labour force participation,” said the report.
Its South Asian neighbours on the index are Sri Lanka, ranked 100th, Nepal ranked 105th, India ranked 108th, while Pakistan was at the bottom, ranked 148th, ahead of only war-torn Yemen.
Iceland topped the worldwide list, followed by Norway, Sweden, Finland, Nicaragua, Rwanda, New Zealand, the Philippines, Ireland and Namibia.
Bangladesh has closed over 72 percent of its overall gender gap, while Pakistan managed less than 55 percent.
“With the exception of Bangladesh and Pakistan at either end of South Asia’s regional table, gender parity outcomes are somewhat homogenous across the region,” says the report.
It also warned that a widening gender gap in terms of labour force participation remains in Bangladesh.
Earlier in a report in September, the World Economic Forum said Bangladesh improved in terms of creating equal opportunities for legislators, senior officials and managerial roles, as well as professional and technical roles.
The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 149 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition studies skills gender gaps related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).