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The gender pay gap will close - 202 years from now

It will take more than two centuries to close the global gender pay gap, according to the World Economic Forum. Photo: Getty
It will take more than two centuries to close the global gender pay gap, according to the World Economic Forum. Photo: Getty

In August this year, Australia’s national gender pay gap reached its lowest-ever level in two decades.

But when gender parity between men and women is compared across 149 countries, Australia doesn’t even make the top 10 – in fact, we don’t even make top 30.

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, Australia ranks 39 out of 149 countries when it comes to gender parity.

We’ve taken a metaphorical four steps backward from last year when we were 35th. The drop has represented a continued decline since 2006, where we were ranked 15.

<em>Source: World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2018</em>
Source: World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2018

A closer look

Australia has a gender parity score of 0.73, which sits above the global average of 0.68 (where 0 means imparity and 1 per cent means parity).

To put this into perspective, the WEF report estimates it will take a staggering 108 years to close the “overall global gender gap”.

WEF measures gender parity across the four core pillars of economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political empowerment.

“The most challenging gender gaps to close are the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take 202 and 107 years to close respectively,” the report said.

This means, the way things are going, it will take more than two centuries to close the pay gap between men and women.

On a more positive note, the nation has totally closed educational attainment gender gaps at a full score of 1. However, we’re dismal at politically empowering women, with a score of 0.232.

When it comes to overall gender parity, Australia’s 39th ranking puts us behind countries such as Slovenia, South Africa, Cuba, the Bahamas, Albania, and Serbia.

Iceland and Norway have retained their 2017 status as first and second of the pack, with Sweden, Finland and Nicaragua in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

Our Kiwi next door neighbours made it to the top ten at 7th place, throwing light on our position nearly a third of the way down the list.

Australia’s ranking by pillars

Economic participation and opportunity: rank 46; score 0.718

Educational attainment: rank equal 1; score 1

Health and survival: rank 103, score 0.971

Political empowerment: rank 49, 0.232

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