Iceland has closed almost 88% of its gender gap and increased its lead over second-ranked Norway. Iceland has once again held on to the top spot in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap Index.
For 11 consecutive years the Nordic nation, with a population of just over 360,000, has been the frontrunner in the index, which benchmarks countries according to how close they are to reaching gender equality.
Iceland has closed almost 88% of its gender gap and increased its lead over second-ranked Norway.
A century away
The latest figures indicate an overall positive direction of travel.
The global gender gap – which is measured across four key areas, or subindexes: health, education, work and politics – has narrowed slightly to 68.6%. The average gap left to close is now 31.4%, compared to 32% last year.
But there is still an excruciatingly long wait for gender equality: it will take 99.5 years to achieve full parity between men and women at the current rate of change.
The majority of countries made strides towards parity in the last 12 months – some moving faster than others. The 16 countries that make up the index’s top 10% recorded an improvement of more than 3.3% year-on-year.
Since the report began in 2006, Nordic countries have frequently monopolized the top spots in the ranking, and 2020 is no exception. Just below second-placed Norway are Finland and Sweden.
In fifth place is Nicaragua, followed by New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda and Germany.
The most-improved countries are Albania, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Spain.
The United States is 53rd this year, a fall of two places. The world’s second-largest economy, China, is down three to 106th.