257 years. That’s how long women should wait to accomplish full equality in economic participation, the World Economic Forum's recent Gender Parity 2019 report has revealed. The same had put the figure at 202 years last year.
The WEF report published Tuesday said the time necessary to close the overall gender gap around the world narrowed to 99.5 years. “While an improvement in 2018 – when the gap was calculated to take 108 years to close – it still means parity between men and women across health, education, work and politics will take more than a lifetime to achieve,” the report said.
"This year's report highlights the growing urgency for action," WEF founder Klaus Schwab said, warning that broad economic growth and development will not happen without women. "At the dawn of the 2020s, building fairer and more inclusive economies must be the goal of global, national and industry leaders," he added.
Although education attainment, as well as health and survival, enjoy much closer to parity, 96.1% and 95.7% respectively, one important area of concern is that of economic participation and opportunity – an area that saw regression.
"The figures are sobering, with a deteriorating situation forcing gender parity to a lowly 57.8%, which in time represents a massive 257 years before gender parity can be achieved,” the report said.
The WEF elaborated on several reasons for the economic gender gap, including low levels of women in managerial positions, wage stagnation, labor force participation and income. The report argues that women have been hit hard by automation. Since not enough women are entering tech-driven professions where wage growth has been the most pronounced, women end up middle-low wage categories that have been stagnant since the financial meltdown 10 years ago.
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