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WEF: Bangladesh most gender-equal country in South Asia

  • Published at 12:46 pm December 19th, 2018
web-rmg-worker-women
File photo of Female workers seen working at RMG factory in Bangladesh Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh has closed over 72% of its overall gender gap

Bangladesh has held its top most position among the countries of South Asia in ensuring gender equality, achieving 48th rank, for the fourth time in a row.

It was stated in a report titled “Global Gender Gap Report 2018” published by World Economic Forum's (WEF) on Monday, reports UNB.

The country has slipped only one score to the 48th position among 149 countries in the world, but still ahead of all other countries in the continent except the Philippines, according to the report.

"Bangladesh consolidates its position as the region's top performer and breaks into the global Index top 5 on the Political Empowerment subindex this year, recording progress on closing its political gender gap, despite a widening gender gap in terms of labour force participation," the report said.

Its South Asian neighbours on the index are Sri Lanka on 100th position with 0.676 points, Nepal on 105th with 0.676 points, India on 108th with 0.665 points while Pakistan was at the bottom (148th) scoring 0.550 point, ahead of only war-torn Yemen.

Iceland tops the list, followed by Norway, Sweden, Finland, Nicaragua, Rwanda, New Zealand, the Philippines, Ireland and Namibia.

Bangladesh has closed over 72% of its overall gender gap while Pakistan managed less than 55%.

The report said: "With the exception of Bangladesh and Pakistan at either end of South Asia's regional table, gender parity outcomes are somewhat homogenous across the region."

It also warned that Bangladesh still has a widening gender gap in terms of labour force participation.

The report commended Bangladesh in terms of political empowerment for “recording progress on closing its political gender gap” but it also added that the country is experiencing “a widening gender gap in terms of labour force participation.”

Earlier in a report in September, the WEF said Bangladesh made improvements in generating equal opportunities for legislator, senior official and manager roles, as well as professional and technical roles.

The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 149 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year's edition studies skills gender gaps related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).