Swiss closing some gender equality gaps

Switzerland has ranked tenth out of 135 countries in a World Economic Forum (WEF) review of gender equality achievements.

This content was published on November 1, 2011 - 17:58 and agencies

There are equal women-to-men literacy rates and enrollments in higher education but Switzerland fell down over wage equality (ranked 80th), women in managerial and legislative positions (58th) and women in parliament (24th). In last year’s report Switzerland was also ranked tenth overall.

WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index measured disparities in salaries, workforce participation, highly-skilled employment, access to basic and higher level education, representation in decision-making structures and life expectancy.

In reviewing Switzerland the WEF said it continuedto show gains in educational attainment, economic participation and political empowerment”.

Heading the standings in first to fourth place were Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. These countries have closed over 80 per cent of the gender gap and serve as “benchmarks” for international comparisons, the report said. At the bottom were Pakistan, Chad and Yemen.

Nordic countries’ successful policies included mandatory paternity leave, generous parental leave benefits provided by a combination of social insurance funds and employers, tax incentives and post-maternity re-entry programmes.

Overall, women are almost on par with men around the world in health and education, but they still lag in economic and political participation and opportunities, the report found.

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