European & International News

Gender equality? Stand in queue and await the 22nd century

[Brussels, 29 October 2014] The annual Global Gender Gap Index report for 2014, done by the World Economic Forum (WEF) was published yesterday. According to WEF the “index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparison across regions and income groups and over time” and intend to give a comprehensive overview of levels of gender inequality in a global context; this year 142 countries are included in the report.

The 5 top ranked countries in the report are the Nordic countries with Iceland at the top; hardly surprising. Other highly ranked countries in Europe are Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands.
It also says that “it will take 81 years for the world to close this gap completely” - we would have to wait until 2095 before we can enjoy equality between women and men. 2095! Looking back 81 years from now we are in 1933; could we then imagine the world in 2014, try imagining the world in 2095.

The management team at the World Economic forum itself is not a champion of gender equality; only 2 out of 18 members of the management committees are women, that is 11%, in the board only 5 members of 25 are women – slightly more than 20%. The European Women’s Lobby welcomes the extensive mapping of gender inequality and that the WEF puts the issue under the spotlight. Hence we want to take this opportunity to acknowledge that even an Institution that puts its efforts in revealing the gender gap cannot cross a threshold of 20% participation in their executive organ. This tells us something about the world, the perspectives and the context we are in.

We want to take the opportunity to bring this back the discussion to the reality of women and men and ask the opposite question, are we ready to wait another generation for gender equality?

NO! We have to move from figures and words; to action.

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