The Global Gender Gap Index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to benchmark progress towards gender parity and compare countries' gender gaps across four dimensions: economic opportunities, education, health and political leadership.
The goal of the report is to offer a consistent annual metric for the assessment of progress over time. Using the methodology introduced in 2006, the index and the analysis focus on benchmarking parity between women and men across countries and regions.
As noted in previous editions, limitations on data availability continue to prevent the index from reflecting gender gaps across the full spectrum of gender identities. The analysis thus remains focused on assessing gender gaps between women and men across the economic, educational, health and political outcomes (Figure 1.1). Through the Executive Opinion Survey, the World Economic Forum has sought to address data gaps by collecting information on differential outcomes depending on gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic and/or racial background, income level and disability.Further efforts will be required to capture the relationships between these intersecting categories.
For further information on the index methodology, please refer to Appendix B of the report.
To ensure a global representation of the gender gap, the report aims to cover as many economies as possible. For a country to be included, it must report data for a minimum 12 of the 14 indicators that comprise the index. We also aim to include the latest data available, reported within the last 10 years.
The report this year covers 146 countries, including for the first time Comoros. On the other hand, Bahamas, Cuba, Croatia, Iraq, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and Yemen are not covered in the 2022 index.
Among the 146 countries included this year, a constant set of 102 countries have been covered in all editions since the inaugural one in 2006. Scores based on this constant set of countries are used to compare regional and global aggregates across time.
It should be noted that there may be time lags in the data collection and validation process across the organizations from which the data is sourced, and that all results should be interpreted within a range of global, regional and national contextual factors. The Economy Profiles at the end of the report provide a large range of additional data.
The Global Gender Gap in 2022 is 68.1% closed. The overall gender parity score rose from 67.9% in 2021 to 68.1% in 2022, considering the constant sample of 145 countries covered in both the 2021 and 2022 editions.
Progress towards closing the gender gap has stalled in most countries. Only 30 of the 145 economies covered in both this edition and the previous one registered progress in closing the gender gap by at least 1 percentage point; 57 countries have made marginal progress, having closed their gender gaps by less than 1 percentage point. Twelve countries have reversed their gender gaps by more than 1 percentage point, while 46 countries saw a marginal decline - by less than 1 percentage point.
Vanuatu (score: 67%, +4.5 percentage points since the previous edition), Kenya (72.9%, +3.7 percentage points) and Saudi Arabia (63.6%, +3.3 percentage points) are 2022's most improved countries in closing their gender gap. Algeria (60.2%, -3 percentage points), Malawi (63.2%, -3.9 percentage points) and Benin (61.2%, -4.1 percentage points) have declined the most over the last year.
Table 1.1 presents the 2022 Global Gender Gap rankings and the scores for all 146 countries included in this year's report. Although no country has yet achieved full gender parity, the top 10 economies have closed at least 80% of their gaps, with Iceland (90.8%) leading the ranking table. Iceland is the only economy to have closed more than 90% of its gender gap. Other Scandinavian countries such as Finland (86%, 2nd), Norway (84.5%, 3rd) and Sweden (82.2%, 5th) feature in the top 5, with additional European countries such as Ireland (80.4%) and Germany (80.1%) in the 9th and 10th positions, respectively. Sub-Saharan African countries Rwanda (81.1%, 6th) and Namibia (80.7%, 8th), along with one Latin American country, Nicaragua (81%, 7th), and one East Asian and Pacific country, New Zealand (84.1%, 4th), also take positions in the top 10. Nicaragua and Germany are the new entrants in the top 10, while Lithuania (79.9%,11th) and Switzerland (79.5%, 13th) drop out of the top 10 in 2022.
This section discusses the global gender gap scores across the four main components (subindexes) of the index: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In doing so, it aims to shed light on which factors are contributing most prominently to the global gender gap.
Summarized in Figure 1.2, this year's results show across the 146 countries covered by the 2022 index, the Health and Survival gender gap has closed by 95.8%, Educational Attainment by 94.4%, Economic Participation and Opportunity by 60.3% and Political Empowerment by 22%.
Comparing this year's results against last year's by examining only the set of 145 countries covered in both the 2021 and 2022 editions shows that the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex increased from 58.7% to 60.3%, and the Health and Survival subindex rose from 95.7% to 95.8%. The Educational Attainment subindex fell from 95.2% to 94.4% while Political Empowerment remained the same, at 22%.
The country score distributions across each subindex offer a more detailed picture of the biggest challenges to gender parity in 2022. Figure 1.3 marks the distribution of individual country scores attained at both overall and subindex levels, as well as the population-weighted average score for each subindex.
Overall, this year's results show that countries' performances are widely dispersed across the overall Gender Gap Index. Most countries are clustered around the 2022 average score (0.681), with two clear outliers: Afghanistan (146th, 0.435), which trails behind every country on almost every subindex, and Iceland (1st, 0.908), which leads this year's ranking. At a subindex level, the two dimensions with the least variation since 2006, Educational Attainment and Health and Survival, are also where country scores are the most highly concentrated.
The Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex has the second-widest dispersion. The subindex shows increased deviation from last year between economies, with the lowest standing at 18% (Afghanistan) and the highest at 88% (Lao PDR), suggesting that global economic parity is highly unequal between economies. Higher-income economies score at 0.69 on average, while upper-middle-income economies score 0.68 and low-income economies register 0.66. The lowest-performing economies are lower-middle income, at 0.63.
Within the indicators that compose this subindex, performance is also varied. When it comes to income equality, in 2022 parity increased in part because women earn slightly more on average (+2%) than in 2021, but also because men earn less (-1.8%) on average than in 2021. Twenty-eight countries have closed less than 50% of the gender gap on this indicator, with the lowest levels of parity reported in Iran (16%), Afghanistan (18%) and Algeria (18%). Overall, Sub-Saharan African and Middle East and North Africa have the lowest levels of income parity, at approximately 23% and 24%, respectively.
When it comes to wage equality for similar work, only five countries achieved scores higher than 0.800 on this indicator: Albania (0.845), Burundi (0.840), Algeria (0.812), Iceland (0.812) and Singapore (0.805). Furthermore, no region attained higher levels of wage parity than North America (0.760).
In 2022, 129 countries reported a reduction of women's labour-force participation relative to men's, which negatively impacted their scores. Three countries saw no changes (Burundi, Rwanda and Sierra Leone) and 14 reported increased parity in workforce participation - the highest of which was Saudi Arabia, with a 0.097 increase in its gender parity score.
However, between 2021 and 2022 the share of women in professional and technical roles as well as in senior, legislative and managerial roles increased slightly (6.7 percentage points and 5.4 percentage points, respectively). Pakistan is the country where women have the smallest share of senior, managerial and legislative roles (4.5%), compared to Jamaica, where women represent 56.6% of workers in that category, or Togo, which has the highest share of women in senior roles, at 70.1%. Women were less than 18% of professional and technical workers in Chad, compared to 41% in Rwanda or 70% in Belarus.
The Educational Attainment subindex shows most scores near parity but with increasing dispersion between countries towards the bottom of the range. On this dimension, country performances varied between rates ranging from 48% to 100%. On this subindex, 29 countries reported full gender parity. Among them are 17 high-income economies, three lower-middle-income economies, and nine upper-middle-income economies. On average, high-income and middle-income economies have an Educational Attainment parity score of 99%, compared to 95% of lower-middle income and 81% of low-income economies.
Forty-seven countries reported parity in literacy, and only 19 countries have a literacy gender gap of 25% or more. Gender parity in primary education is more prevalent across countries. Not only did 64 countries report full parity, but nearly 75% of countries included in this year's edition achieved a score of 0.900 or higher in primary education enrolment. Chad (0.785), Guinea (0.852), Niger (0.878) and Mali (0.899) are among the countries that failed to meet this threshold. However, at a global level, even as overall levels of education increased, there must be more focus on equitable schooling opportunities. In secondary education enrolment, 16 countries reported gender gaps larger than 10 percentage points - 13 of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, two in South Asia (Pakistan and Afghanistan), and one in East Asia and the Pacific (China). In tertiary education, 29 countries have closed less than 90% of the gender gap in enrolment - and these countries are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific. Of this year's sample, the only region where performances have moved further toward parity is Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Health and Survival subindex demonstrates the most egalitarian overall performance, with the least amount of dispersion and the smallest reported global gender gap. In this dimension, most countries are positioned near parity, with attainment levels between 93% and 98%. Across the entire index, 141 countries across all regions have closed at least 95% of their Health gender gaps, although no countries register parity in 2022. The five countries with gender gaps larger than 5% are Qatar, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, China and India.
Finally, the Political Empowerment subindex shows no overall progress against last year, with virtually no change in the three indicators that constitute it. This subindex also manifests the largest remaining gender gap of all subindexes with a global average score of 0.22, as well as the widest range of dispersion among countries. The lowest measure of progress on this subindex is 0%, Vanuatu, and the highest is 87%, Iceland.
In addition to Iceland, only 11 countries have closed more than 50% of their gap on this subindex: Finland (0.68), Norway (0.66), New Zealand (0.66), Nicaragua (0.63), Costa Rica (0.56), Rwanda (0.56), Germany (0.55), Bangladesh (0.55), Sweden (0.51), Ireland (0.50) and South Africa (0.50). The countries that have more than 95% of the gap to close are Vanuatu (100%), Kuwait (97.8%), Brunei (96.9%), Qatar (96.7%), Iran (96%) and Nigeria (95.9%). Approximately 39% of countries in the index performed above the subindex average (0.22), the same proportion as in 2021, the lower end of the subindex. However, the difference between the top score of 2022 and 2021 is +0.11, which causes a bigger divergence between scores.
By calculating how much the gap has been reduced each year since the report's first edition in 2006, using a constant sample of 102 countries, it is possible to project how many years it will take to close each of the gender gaps in each of the dimensions tracked: economic participation and opportunity, education, health and political empowerment. The sixteen-year trajectory of global gender gaps is charted accordingly in Figure 1.4.
Overall, gender parity has improved across three subindexes since the first edition. The 2022 results translate to an overall gain of 3.8 percentage points since the first edition of the report in 2006. If progress towards gender parity proceeds at the same pace observed between the 2006 and 2022 editions, the overall global gender gap is projected to close in 132 years. While the latest projection lowers the estimate reported in the 2021 edition, the positive change in economic participation is offset by stalling or deterioration in the other three subindexes.
The global Political Empowerment gender gap this year is still 77.6% - about 8.1 percentage points smaller than the first measure reported in 2006, but not the lowest in the history of the index. The Political Empowerment subindex registered significant advance towards parity between 2006 and 2016, fluctuating until 2021, after which it stalled below its 2019 peak.
Below its 2019 peak, it will take 155 years to close the Political Empowerment gap.
The second-longest challenge to global gender parity is Economic Opportunity and Attainment. Based on the constant sample of 102 countries included in each edition since 2006, the gap that remains to be closed on this subindex is 40%. Compared to 2006, the gap has been reduced by 4.3 percentage points. The subindex had one long period of increasing parity between 2006 and 2013, and one period of negative evolution after 2013 until 2017, before recovering and reaching its highest level to date in 2022. In 2022, at the current rate of progress this gap will close in 151 years, representing multiple generations to parity.
In 2022, Health and Survival is still 4.3 percentage points below parity, and the time to close the gap will remain undefined unless efforts are increased or accelerated. The Health and Survival subindex has varied only slightly over time, reaching its lowest point in 2018 and recovering marginally since then, however still falling short of its 2006 level. While countries continue to register high overall scores compared to other subindexes, the gender gap has not been closed.
The Educational Attainment gender gap in 2022 stands 4.7 percentage points away from full gender parity and is the area closest to achieving parity, in just 22 years. The subindex has improved steadily towards parity, with step-changes in 2008 and 2015. However, between 2021 and 2022, the distance between the highest and lowest gender gap score increased, reflecting widening disparities within this subindex.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2022 categorizes countries into eight regions: Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin American and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, North America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.1 Countries in each regional group are listed in Appendix A.
Of all regions, North America has closed the largest proportion of its gender gap, at 76.9% (Figure 1.5). Countries in North America are closely followed by Europe, which has closed 76.6% of its gap, then Latin America and the Caribbean, which has bridged 72.6%. Central Asia along with East Asia and the Pacific follow at 69.1% and 69%, respectively. In the sixth spot, Sub-Saharan Africa reports a measure of 67.8% parity. Trailing over 4 percentage points behind Sub-Saharan Africa is Middle East and North Africa, which has closed 63.4% of its gender gap. Lastly, South Asia reports the lowest performance of all regions, with a gender parity measure of 62.4%.
The regional results presented in Figure 1.5 show the results for all 146 economies included in the 2022 edition.
More detailed insight into regional performance can be drawn from Figure 1.6, in which regional results across the four subindexes are depicted in the form of a heatmap. The most significant gaps can be seen in the colour scale, where less saturated cells indicate the highest levels of gender disparity.
Against last year's results, overall regional progress has mostly stalled. On average, regions had little no movement, with variations in score being lower than 1 percentage point. The sixteen-year evolution from 2006-2022 of regional gender parity scores is presented in Figure 1.7.
In Central Asia, overall progress in closing the gender gap is stagnant at 69.1%, unchanged from the last edition. At this pace, it would take 151 years to close the gap. In 2022, Central Asia reported the fourth-highest regional score out of the eight regions, just after North America, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Moldova (78.8%), Belarus (75%) and Georgia (73.1%) are the three top-ranked countries in this region. Azerbaijan (68.7%), Tajikistan (66.3%) and Turkey (63.9%) rank at the bottom. Six of the 10 countries in the region have seen an improvement in their scores compared to the previous edition. Armenia (69.8%, +2.5 percentage points), Moldova (78.8%, +2 percentage points) and Kyrgyzstan (70%, +1.9 percentage points) are the three most-improved countries in Central Asia.
On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, Central Asia has achieved 68.2% parity, making it the fourth-most advanced region on this specific dimension, behind North America, East Asia and the Pacific and Europe. The overall subindex results do not differ largely from last year's edition; however, in this year's edition the region presented a wide dispersal of gender parity scores. Belarus (81.8%), Moldova (76.6%) and Kazakhstan (75.6%) lead the rankings for the region, while Armenia (66.9%), Tajikistan (60.9%) and Turkey (49.3%) are at the bottom. At the indicator level, Central Asia reported significant developments in economic parity. The first is an increase in the share of women in senior positions (legislators, senior officials and managers) for five of the 10 countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Furthermore, eight of the 10 countries have achieved parity in the share of women in technical roles, with Turkey having made steady progress of 12 percentage points on this indicator. There is, however, a growing gender gap in the labour-force participation rate across all Central Asian economies with the exception of Tajikistan. Additionally, the gender gap in estimated earned income also grew in five countries: Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Moldova.
Central Asia stands near gender parity, at 98.8%, on the Educational Attainment subindex. Central Asian countries are relatively advanced in closing the gender gap across all indicators of the subindex: literacy rate and enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. In fact, eight of the 10 countries have closed 99% or more of the gender gap on this subindex: Kazakhstan (100%), Armenia (100%) and Georgia (100%) are the region's top three performers for Educational Attainment. Tajikistan (94.2%), where gender gaps remain to be closed on enrolment in secondary education and tertiary education, trails other countries.
In 2022, there is little movement across the indicators constituting the Health and Survival subindex: sex ratio at birth and healthy life expectancy. There has been marginal improvement in the sex ratio at birth for Armenia and Kazakhstan. However, in Armenia as well as Azerbaijan, the sex ratio at birth remains comparably lower than in countries of the region that have achieved parity in this indicator, namely Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Turkey. Gender parity in this subindex reached 97.4%, and the top-performing countries are Kyrgyzstan (98%), Moldova (98%), Georgia (97.8%) and Ukraine (97.8%).
The widest gender gap for all regions is on the Political Empowerment subindex, and Central Asia is no exception. It has only closed 11.8% of its gender gap on this dimension, having made little progress since last year. Countries in the region that have a relatively higher rate of gender parity are Moldova (41.2%), Georgia (24.8%) and Belarus (21.6%), while Kyrgyzstan (12.4%), Turkey (12.3%) and Azerbaijan (6.9%) are below the regional average. However, Moldova and Armenia have made significant strides in increasing the share of women in parliamentary positions. Moldova and Georgia also have incrementally increased the share of women's leadership as head of state between 1972 and 2022, but five of the 10 countries in the region have not elected or appointed a woman to that role during this 50-year period.
East Asia and the Pacific has closed 69% of its overall gender gap, marginally increasing the regional performance from the 2021 edition, with 13 of 19 countries improving their gender gap score. At this pace, the region will need 168 years to close the gender gap. However, within the region, there are important differences in countries' progress. The countries registering the highest level of gender parity in the region are New Zealand (84.1%), Philippines (78.3%) and Australia (73.8%), while Fiji (67.6%), Vanuatu (67%) and Japan (65%) have more progress to make. Vanuatu (67%, +4.5 percentage points) and Timor-Leste (73%, +1 percentage points) are the most-improved countries in this region since 2021. This region has the fifth-highest regional score of the eight regions in the index - higher than Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.
At the subindex level, East Asia and the Pacific is the second-most advanced region on Economic Participation and Opportunity, after North America. The region has closed 72.2% of its gender gap, an improvement of 2.6 percentage points over the 2021 edition. Within the subindex, there is significant intra-regional disparity: Lao PDR (88.3%), Thailand (79.5%) and Philippines (79.4%) rank the highest, while Korea (59.2%), Fiji (58.6%) and Japan (56.4%) rank lowest.
Further, over half of the countries in the region, 10 out of the 19, improved their gender parity scores on Economic Participation and Opportunity. They include Australia (+4.1 percentage points), China (+4 percentage points), Indonesia (+2.8 percentage points) and Malaysia (+1.8 percentage points), which, due to their population size, have contributed to an improved regional score. One of the indicators in which there is notable regional progress is estimated earned income. The region has also seen an increase in the share of women in senior positions (legislators, senior officials and managers) in 10 of the 19 countries, including Vanuatu, Mongolia, Cambodia, Thailand and Australia. However, the labour-force participation rate of women decreased for all 19 countries between 2020 and 2021. In addition, wage equality for similar work was also perceived to be lower than in 2021 in seven countries, including Mongolia, China and Cambodia.
On the Educational Attainment subindex, 95.4% of the gender gap is closed. Japan, New Zealand and Fiji lead on this subindex whereas Cambodia, Lao PDR and China lag behind. Gender gaps are narrow across most indicators, as well over half of the countries in the region have closed more than 99% of the gender gap in the following levels of enrolment: 11 of 19 countries in primary enrolment, 14 countries in secondary enrolment, and 14 countries in tertiary enrolment.
The Health and Survival subindex has a slightly lower level of parity across the region, at 95.2%. Myanmar, Mongolia and Philippines lead scores on this subindex, while Singapore, Viet Nam and China have the most progress still to make. Marginal improvements in sex ratio at birth in Viet Nam and China have led to an average improvement of the region's subindex gender gap score of 0.3 percentage points, although 11 of the 19 countries have already achieved gender parity in sex ratio at birth. Only five countries in this region have achieved gender parity in healthy life expectancy: Mongolia, Viet Nam, Thailand, Myanmar and Philippines.
Relative to other regions, East Asia and the Pacific registered the second-lowest measure of progress on Political Empowerment, ahead only of Central Asia. The region achieved a 13.3% in gender parity on this subindex, which is marginally lower than last edition. Only four countries have closed the gender gap on the share of women in parliamentary positions by at least one percentage point: in order of magnitude of improvement, Viet Nam, Timor-Leste, New Zealand and Indonesia. New Zealand, Singapore and Myanmar have increased their share of years with a female head of state.
Europe has the second-highest level of gender parity, at 76.6%. Based on the constant set of 102 countries covered in the index since 2006, the region recorded a marginal improvement of 0.2 percentage points compared to last year, resulting in a 60-year wait to close the gap. Iceland, Finland and Norway hold the top ranks globally and in the region, while Romania, Cyprus and Greece come last in the regional rankings. Albania, Iceland and Luxembourg are the region's three most-improved countries.
Europe ranks third on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, after North America and East Asia and the Pacific. It has closed 70.2% of the gender gap on this subindex, showing little variation in scores since the last edition, but positive variations at the indicator level. In this edition, nine of the 35 countries in the region - led by Hungary, Luxembourg and France - have improved their score by at least 1 percentage point. The countries that lead performance on this subindex are Sweden, Latvia and Iceland, while North Macedonia, Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina are at the bottom of the regional ranking. At the indicator level, 15 of the 35 countries increased their gender parity score by at least 1 percentage point in terms of the share of women in senior positions. Among them, Bulgaria, Sweden and Cyprus made the most improvements. Most countries (30 of 35) are on the verge of closing their gender gaps in the share of women in technical roles, with a level of parity of 99% or more, and 22 countries - including Hungary, France and the United Kingdom - have improved their scores for perceived wage equality for similar work. Twenty-two of the 35 countries have closed at least 80% of their gender gap in labour-force participation rate. However, Italy, Romania, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have closed less than 70% of their gender gap on this indicator.
Europe's gender gap on Educational Attainment is nearly closed, with only 0.5 percentage points remaining. All countries in the region have closed more than 97% of their gender gap on this dimension, and 12 of 35 countries are at parity. Similarly, Europe has closed 97% of the gender gap on the Health and Survival subindex, with eight countries having attained gender parity in healthy life expectancy. And while 20 of 35 countries have reached parity in sex ratio at birth, the sex ratios of countries like Albania, Montenegro and Cyprus continue to be skewed in detriment to the region's overall gender parity on this indicator.
While it has the index's highest level of parity on Political Empowerment, at 39.8%, Europe, like all other regions, has its widest gender gap on this subindex relative to the other dimensions. Nonetheless, there has been an improvement of 2.8 percentage points on the subindex score since 2021, driven by positive variation in the scores of 23 of the 35 countries. The gender gap in the share of women in parliamentary positions improved by at least 1 percentage point in 17 countries, with Iceland, Netherlands and Albania making the most progress. In addition, 10 countries increased their share of years in leadership by women as heads of state in the last 50 years, although nine of the region's 35 countries have never had a female head of state in the last 50 years.
Latin America and the Caribbean ranks third of all regions, after North America and Europe, on the overall index. The region has bridged 72.6% of the gender gap, an increase of almost 0.4 percentage points since the previous edition. Based on the current pace of progress, Latin America and the Caribbean will close its gender gap in 67 years. Six of the 22 indexed countries in this edition improved their gender gap score by at least 1 percentage point. Among them, Peru, Guyana and Chile have improved their gender parity scores the most. By contrast, more populous countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina showed mild stagnation in scores. At the lower end of regional performance, Barbados, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Colombia decreased their scores. This divergence in performance then informs the overall regional ranking, where Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Barbados hold the top three spots in the region, while Brazil, Belize and Guatemala occupy the lowest ranks.
On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, Latin America and the Caribbean fares better than two regions: Middle East and North Africa and South Asia. Gender parity on this subindex has reached only 64.5% in this region, virtually unchanged from the previous edition, even as 13 of the 22 countries have improved their subindex scores by at least 1 percentage point. In terms of regional rankings on this dimension, Barbados, Jamaica and Panama take the first three spots, while Chile, Mexico and Guatemala rank the lowest. At the indicator level, 16 countries report improved gender parity scores on estimated earned income by at least 1 percentage point. However, this measure masks a loss of estimated earned income for women in 13 countries, and for men in 19 countries. In Barbados, Belize, Chile and Honduras, the decline in levels of estimated earned income for both men and women is further compounded by a decrease in gender parity on this indicator, meaning women's estimated earned income dropped in greater proportion than men's. Even so, positive variation emerges in other indicators. For example, there is an overall improvement in the perception of wage equality for similar work in 15 countries. Broadly, there have been gains in the share of women in senior positions and share of women in technical roles in most countries. In Guyana, Guatemala and Uruguay parity has increased among workers in senior roles by at least 10 percentage points. Further, the gender gap among workers in technical roles is narrow in most countries in this region, with 13 countries already reporting parity, and countries like Bolivia and Chile making strides of over 10 percentage points towards parity or near parity on this indicator.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean showed high levels of gender parity on the Educational Attainment subindex, where, as of 2022, there is less than 0.5% of the educational gender gap to close. Individual country gender parity scores are also high, with 19 of the 22 countries in this region having closed at least 99% of their gaps. By education level, we see that nine countries have closed their gender gap in primary education, 17 countries in secondary education and 18 countries in tertiary education. However, the absolute levels of enrolment in all three levels of education in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala for both genders remain relatively lower than their neighboring countries.
On Health and Survival, Latin America and the Caribbean has closed 97.6% of its gender gap, and all countries in the region have closed at least 96% of their gender gap. All countries except Suriname have attained parity in sex ratio at birth. A further seven countries have attained parity in life expectancy at birth, while Honduras, Peru and Bolivia still need to close this gap.
The widest gender gap for Latin America and the Caribbean is still on the Political Empowerment subindex. The region improved its gender parity score by 1.8 percentage points since last year, resulting in 28.7% of the gender gap closed, placing it as the third-best performer on this subindex, after Europe and North America. However, there are significant country disparities in gender gap scores, with the highest being 0.625 for Nicaragua and the lowest 0.075 for Belize. Overall, the three most-improved countries on this dimension in the region are Peru, Chile and Honduras, while eight countries saw negative or no variance against last year. At the indicator level, 10 countries - led by Peru, Chile and Barbados - increased the share of parliamentary positions held by women. Peru and Honduras also increased their share of years in leadership by a female head of state. This results in a regional ranking for this subindex are led by Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico, while Brazil, Guatemala and Belize rank in the bottom.
With an average population-weighted score of 63.4% Middle East and North Africa has the second-largest gender gap to close, after South Asia. The region's gender score remains similar to the last edition, which gives Middle East and North Africa a timeframe to close the gap of 115 years. Israel, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon are the best-performing countries, while Qatar, Oman and Algeria are the worst-performing countries. This year's most improved countries in the region, compared to 2021, are Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Kuwait.
There is a marked improvement on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, which raised the level of progress in closing the gender gap from 44% to 46% in 2022. At the subindex level, Israel, Kuwait and Jordan lead the regional rankings, while Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt rank at the bottom for economic parity. There was broad improvement across key economic indicators, except for labour-force participation rate. Six countries, led by Kuwait, Oman and United Arab Emirates, increased their share of women in technical roles; however, only Oman increased the share of women in senior roles. Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Tunisia had a positive increase in the gender gap scores for labour-force participation between last year and 2022, while most countries in the region saw a decline. Overall, over half of the 13 countries in the region improved their subindex scores, with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Morocco registering the most progress, while six countries saw their subindex score decline, with the most negative variation in Bahrain and Egypt.
On Educational Attainment, the Middle East and North Africa region achieved 96.2% of gender parity. Israel is the best-performing country on this region, with full parity. Oman, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are the only countries in the region that have closed less than 95% of the gender gap on this subindex. Among countries for which data is available, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar have closed their gender gaps in primary education. While Jordan's primary enrolment gender gap is at 98%, the share of enrolment for both girls and boys is considerably lower than in other countries. In secondary education, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Tunisia have all achieved parity - although the overall share of enrolment in Jordan and Lebanon is considerably lower than in other countries. All countries in the region have closed their gender gaps in tertiary education; however, in four countries the shares of enrolment for women are below 50% for this level of education.
Middle East and North Africa has closed 96.4% of its gender gap for Health and Survival. Of all countries in the region, only Qatar has more than 5% of the gender gap to close. Lebanon, Tunisia and Kuwait are the best-performing countries on this subindex, with 96% or more of the gender gap closed. At the indicator level, gender parity for sex ratio at birth has been attained by 11 of the 13 countries in the region. Only Egypt and Morocco trail behind. However, the region is behind the curve on closing the gender gap in healthy life expectancy. Here, Bahrain, Algeria, Jordan and Qatar are among the weakest performers globally.
Across the Political Empowerment subindex, the region has closed 15.2% of its gender gap, which represents a slight decrease from last year of 1 percentage point (based on constant countries). This places Middle East and North Africa as the third-lowest regional score on this subindex, ahead of East Asia and the Pacific and Central Asia. The diverging degrees of participation women have in political life across the region is evident in the subindex as well as indicator scores. The region's highest subindex score is that of United Arab Emirates, at 0.402. The lowest is Kuwait at 0.023. Only United Arab Emirates has achieved parity at the parliamentary level, while Saudi Arabia remains at 0%. Lebanon has the highest level of parity for ministerial positions, with the share of women at that level amounting to 32% of seats. By contrast, Saudi Arabia has the lowest, at 0%. Notably, in 2021 Tunisia named its first woman as head of government, becoming the second economy in the region, alongside Israel, to have a female head of state in the past 50 years.
North America is the most advanced region in terms of closing the gender gap. The population-weighted average score for the region in 2022 is 76.9%, a marginal improvement of 0.5 percentage points since the last edition, reducing the number of years it will take to close the gap from 62 to 59 years. The improvements are due to a slight increase in the gender gap score of the United States and a stable score in Canada.
North America leads on closing the gender gap on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, reporting a value of 77.4% in 2022, 2.1 percentage points more than the previous edition. What contributed to this gainin gender parity at the indicator level was a substantive improvement in perceived wage equality for similar work in the United States (+10.4 percentage points). There was also an increase in parity in estimated earned income, amounting to 1.2 percentage points in the United States and to 4.1 percentage points in Canada. Both countries have also closed their gender gaps on the share of women in technical roles. However,economic parity is lagging in two indicators. The first is the rate of labour-force participation, where progress has stalled for both countries. The second is the share of women in senior roles, where the United States widened its gender gap by 2.4 percentage points.
On Educational Attainment, North America reported 99.7% of the gender gap closed. Both countries have attained parity in literacy rate and tertiary education. Furthermore, the United States has closed its gender gap for enrolment in primary education and is on the verge of closing the gender gap on secondary education. For Health and Survival, both countries reported parity for sex ratio at birth and near parity for healthy life expectancy. This positions North America merely 3.1 percentage points away from achieving parity on this subindex.
Despite leading across other subindexes, North America has the third- widest regional gap on Political Empowerment, only ahead of East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia. While women occupy an equal or near equal share of ministerial roles in both countries, the progress has not been sufficient to improve the overall levels of parity at parliamentary level. In both countries, women occupy less than 31% of seats. Furthermore, to date the United States has never elected a female head of state.
Among the eight regions covered in the report, South Asia ranks the lowest, with only 62.4% of the gender gap closed. The lack of progress since last edition extends the wait in South Asia to close the gender gap to 197 years, with broad stagnation across the gender parity scores of most countries. Bangladesh and Nepal lead regional performance, with over 69% of their gender gaps closed, while Afghanistan registered the region's and world's lowest level of overall gender parity, with a score of 43.5%.
South Asia has the widest gender gap on Economic Participation and Opportunity, having closed only 35.7% of this gender gap. While the subindex score is an improvement of 1.8 percentage points from last year, there are considerable country divergences that anchor the result as the lowest among all regions. Afghanistan has only attained 17.6% parity on this subindex, well below the highest score of Nepal, at 64.1%. Highly populated countries are for the most part driving variation within this subindex. For example, increases in the share of women in professional and technical roles were most notable in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. On the other hand, the shares in Iran, Pakistan and Maldives regressed, with less impact on overall regional performance. India and Sri Lanka have progressed on closing the gender gap in the share of women in senior positions as well, while Iran has regressed. Estimated earned oncome only improved significantly in the Maldives, while labour-force participation has largely stalled across most countries, regressing significantly in Iran, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
In comparison to other regions, South Asia ranks second lowest on the Educational Attainment subindex, above Sub-Saharan Africa. Literacy rate, one of the core indicators for education, saw no change in five countries. However, there were losses in literacy parity in Afghanistan (10.3 percentage points) and in lesser measure, in Bangladesh (-0.3 percentage points). One indicator with positive results across the board is tertiary education, where one more country achieved parity this year (Bhutan), bringing the regional total to five. Finally, all countries for which data is available have closed more than 98% of their gender gap in enrolment in primary education.
South Asia has one of the lowest regional gender parity scores for Health and Survival, at 94.2%. In this subindex, only Sri Lanka has closed its gender gap, while Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are among the worst-performing countries globally. Sex ratio at birth remains relatively low in large, populated countries such as India and Pakistan, whereas Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran and Sri Lanka have reached parity. In terms of healthy life expectancy, no country is at parity apart from Sri Lanka, and countries in the region are among the lowest-ranked performers overall on this dimension.
South Asia has the fourth-highest regional performance on the Political Empowerment subindex, having achieved 26.3% of gender parity, -0.7 percentage points lower than the last edition. The movement stems in part from the reduction of gender gap scores in countries where women's share of years in political leadership for the past 50 years is reduced, for example in India. Another source of movement emerges from Bhutan and Nepal improving parity in parliamentary seats by an additional percentage point. South Asia still ranks ahead of Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, and Central Asia on this subindex. The highest-ranking countries in the region within this dimension are Bangladesh, India and Nepal, where women have held the highest office in the country or participate more widely in government. The lowest-ranking countries on this subindex are Bhutan and Iran.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the sixth-highest regional score and has bridged 67.9% of its gender gap in 2022. It ranks ahead of Middle East and North Africa as well as South Asia. Among the countries included in the regional grouping, Rwanda, Namibia and South Africa rank highest, and Mali, Chad and Democratic Republic of the Congo rank lowest.
Based on scores of 102 countries constantly covered since 2006, Sub-Saharan Africa registers its highest gender gap score in sixteen years (68.7), improving its performance from last year by 1.1 percentage points. While the region has steadily improved its overall performance, this year's results reflect positive changes in relatively populated countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya, where gender parity has increased along the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. At the present rate, it would take 98 years to close the gender gap in the region.
Based on the constant set of countries included in the report, Sub-Saharan Africa reports an impressive 4.4 percentage point increase from last year's gender gap score on Economic Participation and Opportunity, reaching a score of 68.4%. This is the fifth-highest regional score among the eight regions, ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. The countries that lead parity scores within this dimension are Burundi, Kenya and Botswana, while Comoros, Mali and Senegal rank at the bottom. Improvement stems in part from Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Rwanda closing their gender gaps for workers in senior positions, as well as to an improvement in parity for estimated earned income in 18 of the region's 36 countries. Finally, unlike in other regions, the gender gap in labour-force participation decreased significantly.
On Educational Attainment, Sub-Saharan Africa ranks lowest globally, with an enduring gender gap of 12.1%. While the region registered a marginal improvement of 0.9 percentage points on the subindex score, there are persistent barriers that are keeping the region from achieving parity. In compulsory education, only 23 of 36 countries have closed at least 97% of their gender gap in primary education. The level of parity drops to 17 countries having closed at least 95% of their gender gap in secondary education enrolment. At the same time, relatively populated countries show important improvements in scores. For example, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Tanzania have improved parity in tertiary education. This results in a subindex ranking where Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia are the highest-ranked countries, with Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad at the bottom.
In terms of Health and Survival, Sub-Saharan Africa has closed 97.1% of its gender gap, the third-highest regional score, just behind Latin America and the Caribbean and Central Asia. It counts 11 countries at full parity for healthy life expectancy, and all countries in the region have achieved gender parity in sex ratio at birth.
The level of parity in Political Empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa is 21.5%, which, based on the constant set of countries that have appeared in the index since 2006, also shows a substantive improvement of 3.3 percentage points from last year. The subindex is headed by Rwanda, South Africa and Mozambique, with Sierra Leonne, Burkina Faso and Nigeria towards the bottom. The increase in score derives from the growing share of women assuming parliamentary seats across the region. In 12 of the 36 countries, more women became parliamentarians, including, by order of magnitude: Chad, Guinea, Cape Verde and Cote d'Ivoire. Women were also elected or appointed heads of state in the past year in Ethiopia, Togo, Tanzania and Uganda, improving the corresponding indicator's gender parity score.
This section provides a short descriptive analysis of selected country performances, grouped into two categories. The first includes the 10 best performers of the Global Gender Gap Index, listed in rank order. The second includes the 15 most populous countries in the world,2 listed in alphabetical order, and which are home to approximately 2.5 billion women, accounting for nearly 66% of the world's female population.
For the 13th consecutive year, Iceland (1st) tops the index with an overall score of 0.908 and high scoring performances in all subindexes. Iceland's strongest performance is on the Educational Attainment subindex, where it reports virtual parity with a score of 0.993. The country's second-highest score is on the Health and Survival subindex. While it ranks 121st here due to minor differences in score, it is among the 90% of countries in the index with a score over 0.96. On the Political Empowerment subindex, Iceland scores the highest of the entire index on account of having a higher share than other countries of women serving as head of state over the past 50 years, as well as by having a comparatively high share of women represented in parliament. Finally, when it comes to Economic Participation and Opportunity, Iceland reports a score of 0.803. It registers full parity in the participation of professional and technical workers, with lower female participation in senior and managerial roles as well as estimated earned income.
Finland (2nd) sits in second place, having covered 86% of its overall gender gap to date. At a subindex level, Finland reports full parity on Educational Attainment and near parity (0.97) on Health and Survival, where it maintains the scores for both subindexes that were achieved in 2021. Finland's 2022 score on Economic Participation and Opportunity (0.789) is lower than last year (0.806). This is caused by a decrease in parity for labour-force participation, as well as a decrease in gender parity for wage equality. However, Finland retained full parity in the participation of women as professional and technical workers and increased by 0.6 percentage points the share of women in legislative, senior and managerial positions. Finally, in terms of Political Empowerment, Finland has closed 68% of its gap. Finland reports full ministerial parity and an increased share of the time women have held leadership as head of state in the past 50 years.
Norway (3rd) has reached third place on this year's index, with an overall score of 0.845, which is slightly lower than its highest achieved in 2021. Norway's highest subindex score is on Educational Attainment, where it approaches full parity (0.989). Its second-strongest performance is on Health and Survival, where it ranks 119th and maintains the level of parity registered in 2021. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, Norway's score (0.765) decreased by three percentage points this year to levels registered in 2007. This year's numbers reflect lower proportions of women participating in the workforce, and in roles as legislators, senior officials and managers. Estimated earned income also went down, while parity was maintained for women's participation in professional and technical roles. Norway's score on the Political Empowerment subindex improved slightly in 2022 from last year. Increases in the share of time women have served as heads of state and in the number of women in parliament are in line with the upwards tick in score.
New Zealand (4th) ranks fourth on the 2022 index, registering its highest scores on the Education and Health subindices. In fact, New Zealand achieved parity across the board in education. On Health and Survival, New Zealand maintained parity in its sex ratio and improved its ranking in healthy life expectancy. As with other countries in 2022, the level of parity New Zealand reaches this year on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex is lower than last year, which translates to both a negative rank and score change. The rate at which women participate in the workforce decreased compared to 2021, although wage equality for similar work did increase. On the Political Empowerment subindex, New Zealand marginally improved its score from last year. The score reflects that the share of female leadership as head of state over the past 50 years has increased 11 percentage points, as did the share of women in parliament. The share of women in ministerial positions remains the same.
Sweden (5th) ranks fifth this year, with an overall score of 0.82. Despite ranking highly since the report's first edition in 2006, Sweden has only reported a 2.4 percentage point improvement over the past 16 years. This year, Sweden's highest performance is on Educational Attainment, where it reports a closed gender gap. Its second-highest score is on the Health and Survival subindex (0.963), where the gains reported in 2021 are maintained. And while Sweden registers its third-highest subindex score (0.812) on Economic Participation and Opportunity, the country has the fifth-highest subindex performance globally in the category and first in the European region. The score reflects a high level of female workforce participation, parity in the participation of women in professional and technical roles, and a level of parity in estimated earned income that is higher than 137 other countries. On the Political Empowerment subindex, Sweden's score slipped slightly. While continuing to have parity at ministerial level, the parity score for women in parliament decreased 0.022, resulting in a loss of one rank on the subindex.
Since its first inclusion in 2014, Rwanda (6th) has featured in the Top 10. This year, Rwanda improved its 2021 rank by one, and is the leader in both rank and score for Sub-Saharan Africa. On both Educational Attainment and Health and Survival, Rwanda registers its highest subindex scores: 0.96 and 0.974, respectively. Rwanda has made progress in 2022 by reducing its gender gap in tertiary education by 2.9 percentage points while maintaining parity in compulsory education. On Health and Survival, Rwanda has maintained stable and slightly improving scores since 2015, increasing its rank by four places against countries unable to sustain prior progress. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, Rwanda is one of just three economies that registered parity in labour-force participation in 2022 (alongside Sierra Leone and Burundi). It also improved its score in other elements of the subindex - such as women's participation in professional and technical roles as well as legislator, senior officials and managerial roles - which has contributed to a rise in subindex rank of 15. Finally, on Political Empowerment, Rwanda has achieved parity at ministerial and parliamentary levels, but fell by one place in the ranking, overtaken by countries where the share of women serving as head of state has increased.
With an overall gender gap score of 0.81, Nicaragua (7th) shows progress from last year and improves its ranking position five places, landing seventh in the Top 10. Nicaragua continues to achieve a parity score of 1 on the Educational Attainment subindex, and across all its indicators. On the Political Empowerment subindex, Nicaragua remains in the 5th spot, after registering continued parity in ministerial positions from 2021, and raising its score for parliamentary parity from 0.938 in 2021 to 1 in 2022. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, gender gaps have widened since 2017. This year, the gaps are evident in women's labour-force participation, where the 2021 score fell by -0.032, and in wage equality, with a gender parity score of 0.547, the lowest registered since 2012. However, Nicaragua has maintained 2021 levels of women's participation in professional and technical roles as well as for legislators, officials and senior managers. The country's score on the estimated earned income indicator also increased from 0.456 to 0.682.
Namibia (8th) is one of the two countries in the Top 10 facing reversal in its overall performance. After continued positive progress since 2006, Namibia dropped two places in the ranking and slightly reopened its overall gender gap, reaching a score of 0.807 compared to 0.809 in 2021. Namibia's performance on the Health and Survival subindex has remained unchanged since 2014. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, Namibia reported lower levels of parity in three indicators than in 2021: women's labour-force participation (-0.014), wage equality (-0.017) and estimated earned income (-0.005). Although it has achieved parity across all levels of education and a high literacy score (0.998), Namibia's ranking on the Educational Attainment subindex has not gained ground since slipping from parity in 2016. On the Political Empowerment subindex, the only change registered in 2022 was a small reduction in the gender gap score for women in ministerial positions (-0.001).
One of the six countries in the Top 10 that did not report significant changes in their overall gender gap score or rank between 2021 and 2022 is Ireland (9th). However, Ireland does recover ground lost since posting its highest score in 2016 (0.806). The Health and Survival subindex reports no changes. On the Political Empowerment subindex, Ireland's score remains similar to last year, maintaining the country's upwards progress. Ireland registered small improvements on the Educational Attainment subindex, where the score improved (by +0.002) to 1, as well as the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. Its overall Economic Participation score rose by +0.013, bolstered by continued parity in women's participation as professional and technical workers, and by a reduction of gender gaps in estimated earned income, wage equality, and participation of legislators, senior officials and managers. However, these improvements are countered by a reduced score in women's labour-force participation (-0.026).
Germany (10th) returns to the top 10 this year, having occupied ranks between 10 and 14 since the 2008 edition. Its 2022 gender gap score is the highest the country has registered in the history of the index, signaling Germany's continued and progressive advancement since 2006. Across subindexes, Germany ranks highest on Political Empowerment, which is also the subindex where it has the highest level of improvement over time. Its 2022 subindex score (0.55) is higher than 94% of countries in the index, and its score for share of women in leadership over the past 50 years is the fourth highest in Europe. In Educational Attainment, Germany maintains high levels of parity despite a slightly widened gender gap in secondary education (-0.039 score change). On Economic Participation and Opportunity, Germany reduced scores across indicators compared to 2021, bringing its subindex score (0.695) down to lower levels, and back to the scores registered in 2009. Finally, on Health and Survival, Germany has experienced no variation over the last year, although its score (0.972) is slightly lower than in 2006.
The state of gender outcomes can be better assessed using a wealth of valid qualitative and detailed data reported to official international data-collection bodies. The share of the global female population represented by the following countries is both statistically and strategically significant to monitoring and benchmarking efforts like this index. Based on the data that was officially reported for the period included in this edition, the following trends and shifts were observed in the index's 15 most populous countries, which, combined, represent two-thirds of the world's female population.
In Bangladesh (71st) women this year experienced a decline in overall gender parity, as reflected in a lower gender gap score and index ranking compared to 2021. The change is in part the product of slightly lower country performance on Educational Attainment (-0.028 decrease in score), a subindex with high concentration of scores near parity. A small drop in the gender gap score for literacy and the absence of recent data in primary education overshadow a slim increase of gender parity in tertiary education (+0.065 score change). Bangladesh reported no changes on Political Empowerment (9th) and Health and Survival (129th) indexes. On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex (141st), there was a reduction in both men and women's workforce participation, by 3.6 and 5.45 percentage points, respectively. However, the proportional impact was higher for women. The negative impact of this shortfall was nonetheless counteracted by a 5.3 percentage point increase in the share of women who are professional and technical workers, as well a 13% increase in women's estimated earned income (compared to men's 11% increase), that raised parity outcomes overall.
Brazil (94th) is the home of approximately 108.1 million women. To date, the country has closed 69.6% of its overall gender gap, a minor improvement from 2021. The most significant changes Brazil registered this year were on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, where it improves its ranking from last year by four places. The share of women in legislator, senior official and managerial roles decreased by 1%, while the share of male workers in the same category increased proportionally, and the share of women in technical and professional roles remained at full parity. Estimated earned income parity improved slightly (+0.052), but mainly because men's income decreased: in 2022, women earn 1% more than they did in 2021 while men earn 7% less. Wage equality for similar work also improved, with a score increase of +0.017. The one subindex where Brazil reports lower performance is Political Empowerment, because of a contraction in the share of women in parliament (-0.4% percentage points), where 12 of 81 seats are currently held by women (14.8%). Brazil has voluntary quotas in its bicameral parliament (Senate), and legislated quotas requiring a minimum of 30% of candidates of one sex be presented in electoral lists for the Chamber of Deputies (lower house).
China (102nd) improves its overall ranking in the index by five places in 2022 and is home to approximately 689 million women.3 China's gender gap scores went up on two dimensions of the index: economics and health. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, while labour-force participation decreased for women and men alike the gap remained steady. The second area of improvement was Health and Survival, where the estimated sex ratio at birth increased slightly (+0.006). In Educational Attainment, China registered a lower parity score for secondary education enrolment. However, it is worth noting that the overall subindex score for China has ranged between 93.6% and 98% over the past 16 years. On Political Empowerment, the negative change in score (-0.006) derives from women's waning share of years in leadership at the executive level for the past 50 years.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (144th) improves its position within the index by seven places, having closed 57.5% of its gender gap. Compared to last year, Congo reports improved results on Educational Attainment (144th), and no change on Health and Survival nor Political Empowerment. On Educational Attainment, a small-step change in secondary education enrolment (+0.006) was enough to increase its subindex score to 0.661, which is higher than those of the past two editions, and places Congo slightly under the level of educational parity that the country first registered in 2018 (0.674). On Economic Participation and Opportunity (120th), Congo sees a slight score reduction (-0.005), driven by a decline in gender parity in labour-force participation. The driver of improved economic outcomes is an increase of 6.5 percentage points in the share of women as professional and technical workers, which improved the indicator score from 0.217 to 0.322.
With a population of approximately 50.6 million women, Egypt (129th) remains steady within the index, but with a marginally lower score in 2022 (0.635) than last year. The subindex that reported improvement is Political Empowerment. In 2021, parliamentarians elected in 2020 took office, and women achieved the highest level of representation at that level to date (27.7%). It is worth noting that Egypt has a gender quota that reserves 25% of parliamentary seats for women. The subindexes pulling Egypt's score down are Economic Participation and Opportunity and Educational Attainment. As to the first, Egypt is another country impacted by an asymmetrical reduction of women's labour-force participation. Their share of both legislators, senior officials and managers as well as professional and technical workers also decreased. On Educational Attainment, the gender gap score in secondary education enrolment has decreased slightly.
While the share of women as a total of the population has been declining in Ethiopia (74th), it stood at 57 million in 2020. In this year's edition of the index, Ethiopia drastically improves its position, climbing from 97th to 74th. It also improves its gender gap score by +0.19, reporting a 71% closure of the gap to date. Ethiopia reports better scores across all subindexes except Health and Survival, which remains static. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, even though it has a lower rate of workforce participation for women, there was an upturn of 2.7 percentage points in the share of women in the category of professional and technical workers. In turn, the share of men among professional and technical workers, while still twice as large as women's, reported negative growth of 3.8 percentage points over last year. Women's estimated earned income surged 36% while men's increased by 33%. On Political Empowerment, women's share of parliamentary seats rose by 2.7% compared to last year, while women's share of years in leadership as head of state continues to grow.
India's (135th) global gender gap score has oscillated between 0.593 and 0.683 since the index was first compiled. In 2022, India scores 0.629, which is its seventh-highest score in the last 16 years. With a female population of approximately 662 million, India's level of attainment weighs heavily on regional rankings. Recovering ground since 2021, India registers the most significant and positive change to its performance on Economic Participation and Opportunity. Labour-force participation shrunk for both men (by -9.5 percentage points) and women (-3 percentage points) since 2021. However, in every other indicator India has gained in parity relative to the weighting of other indicators on the subindex. The share of women legislators, senior officials and managers increased from 14.6% to 17.6%, and the share of women as professional and technical workers grew from 29.2% to 32.9%. The gender parity score for estimated earned income improved; while values for both men and women diminished, they declined more for men. The Educational Attainment and Health and Survival subindexes report small, insignificant changes. However, Political Empowerment records a declining score (-0.010) due to the diminishing share of years women have served as head of state for the past 50 years.
Compared to last year, Indonesia (92nd) records improvements to its rank (+9) as well as to its gender gap score. Indonesia, like most countries, saw a reduction of labour-force participation: the share of women who left the workforce in Indonesia was 2.3%. However, in a country of 135 million women with a 56% female participation rate (ages 15-64), this still impacts roughly over 1.3 million women. Both men and women saw a reduction in estimated earned income, although men's values dropped disproportionately, increasing parity. In addition, the share of women in professional and technical workers has reached parity, while the share of women in legislative, senior and managerial roles also increased from 29.7% to 32.4%. On Educational Attainment, the scores for literacy and primary education enrolment increased slightly, pushing the subindex score up +0.002. Finally, it is noted that while the Health and Survival subindex presents the least amount of variability, Indonesia is among the few countries where healthy life expectancy showed a negative development (-0.001).
Japan's (116th) female share of the total population has been increasing since 2010 while the total population has been declining. In 2020, it was estimated to include 64 million women. In this year's edition, Japan's rank improves despite a lower gender gap score (0.650). On two subindexes Japan reports the same scores as last year: Health and Survival and Political Empowerment. On Educational Attainment, Japan reached parity on three core indicators: literacy and primary and secondary education enrolment. On Economic Participation and Opportunity Japan's performance declined, with its subindex score dropping to 0.564, comparable to levels posted in 2016. The drop was caused by a disproportionate decrease in women's workforce participation (-19.5%, compared to men's 15.3%), one of the index's 10 lowest performances registered for the indicator. The share of women in legislative, senior and managerial positions also decreased (by 9.8%) while men's share increased (by +2.6%).
Mexico (31st), a country of 65 million women, has closed 76.4% of its gap in 2022 and has posted its highest parity score to date. In doing so, the country climbs three positions in the global ranking. The subindex driving Mexico's results is chiefly Political Empowerment, and, specifically, parity at the level of parliament. The Health and Survival subindex shows no changes, although data was not available for one of the two indicators considered. On Educational Attainment, Mexico's subindex score has fallen since 2016, despite recent editions reporting parity in secondary and tertiary education enrolments. Lastly, on Economic Participation and Opportunity Mexico scored 0.597, continuing an upwards trend in gender parity since 2018. In 2022, women represented a slightly smaller share of professional and technical workers, which remains nonetheless close to parity at 0.988. The share of women legislators, senior officials and managers increased by 2.5 percentage points. Estimated earned income dropped for both men (-10.3%) and women (-8.1%), reducing the gender gap on this indicator by -1.2 percentage points, but on account of overall reduced earnings. However, it is important to note that women's earnings represent only one-half of men's estimated earnings in 2022, meaning there are still important economic barriers to gender parity.
In covering 63.9% of its gender gap, Nigeria (123rd) returns to higher and earlier levels of parity (2013, 2016) registered in the 16-year period covered by the report. It also ascends 16 ranks on the overall index, with positive changes recorded on the economic and educational subindexes. After dipping in 2021, overall parity recovered in Nigeria, although the rates of participation decreased for both men and women. While parity in professional and technical workers declined from 1 to 0.628 over the past year, parity in legislators, senior officials and managers increased from 0.434 to 1, as women now make up a majority in 2022. On Educational Attainment, Nigeria records higher levels of parity in secondary education and tertiary education enrolments. However, both shares of men and women in secondary education 2022 were lower than in 2021, while both shares increased in tertiary education. The subindex where Nigeria has the widest gap to close is Political Empowerment, which has been widening since 2012 and currently stands at 96%.
Pakistan (145th) has a population of 107 million women, and in 2022 has closed 56.4% of the gender gap that affects them. This is the highest overall level of parity Pakistan has posted since the report launched. Pakistan registers significant improvement across three subindexes, with the highest positive variation on Economic Participation and Opportunity. While wage equality carries the highest gender gap score among economic indicators (0.620), advances were also reported in estimated earned income, where women's earnings increased 4% compared to 2021. However, it is worth noting that women's labour-force participation declined by 1.9 percentage points in 2022, while both shares of men and women workers in senior and professional categories saw a downturn. On Educational Attainment, gender parity scores for literacy, secondary and tertiary education enrolment all rose. However, the shares of male and female students in secondary and tertiary education both increased from 2021, while a drop in parity in literacy correlates to a reduction of the population of men that are literate.
Philippines (19th) is the home of roughly 54 million women. While the country has improved upon its first gender parity score by 4.2 percentage points, since 2013 progress has hovered between 0.783 and 0.799. In 2022 the Philippines records a gender gap of 21.7%, similar to last year. As a result, Philippines dropped two spots in the general ranking, from 17th to 19th, with minor variations across subindexes. No significant changes, positive or negative, occurred on Health and Survival or Political Empowerment. However, on Educational Attainment, gender parity decreased at the level of enrolment in primary education, with a notably larger share of boys than girls in growing enrolment numbers overall. On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, while the entire labour force was impacted, in 2022 the share of women participating in the workforce was still 24.5 percentage points lower than the share of men. Gender parity for legislative, senior officers and managers, as well as for professional and technical workers, remains constant.
The United States (27th) climbs +3 positions in the ranking compared to last year. Its gender gap score improves slightly, resulting in 167 million women facing a remaining gender gap of 23.1%. The two subindexes detailing higher levels of parity in 2022 are Political Empowerment and Economic Participation and Opportunity, while Educational Attainment and Health and Survival remain virtually unchanged. Similarly, the share of women legislators, senior officials and managers fell from last year. The share of women as professional and technical workers remains at parity and the perception of wage equality increased compared to last year. In addition, estimated earned income for women increased in 2022, but declined for men, improving parity. After the legislative election of 2020, women also increased their share of seats in parliament as well as the years parliament has been headed by a woman.
Viet Nam (83rd) improves its placing by four ranks, supported by mild improvements in three of the four subindexes. On Political Empowerment, Viet Nam saw a 3.6 percentage points increase in the share of women in parliament, although men continue to hold 100% of ministerial roles. On Health and Survival, sex ratio at birth increased from 0.894 to 0.902, while healthy life expectancy remained the same. On Educational Attainment, the literacy rate increased by +0.005, which, in the absence of data for compulsory education enrolment, raised the subindex score slightly. Viet Nam posted negative changes on Economic Participation and Opportunity. Indicators at this level reveal that lower workforce participation and lower parity in workforce participation have both contributed to poorer gender outcomes. While parity in technical and professional workers has been maintained, the share of women in legislator, senior and manager roles decreased approximately 1 percentage point. Finally, estimated earned income also fell, in higher proportion for women (-20.7%) than for men (-18.3%).
1. The regional grouping has been revised in this edition of the report to align with regional groupings in other flagship reports published by the World Economic Forum and other International Organizations.
2. With the exception of Russian Federation, which is not featured in the 2022 edition.
3. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Communiqué of the Seventh National Population Census (No. 4) [Press release], accessed 23 May 2022, http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/PressRelease/202105/t20210510_1817189.html.