Namibia tops gender gap ranking

Namibia is also ranked second in the sub-Saharan African region, with only Rwanda achieving a better score.

14 December 2020 | Social Issues

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia has scored a top-20 ranking on a global gender gap index, coming in at 12th place out of 153 countries.

This is a massive improvement, considering that in 2006 Namibia was ranked 38th on the index.

In 2013, the country slipped to 44th place, and in 2014 Namibia was ranked 40th, while in 2016 it was ranked 14th and in 2018 13th.

Namibia was also ranked second in the sub-Saharan African region, with only Rwanda achieving a better score.

This is according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report.

The annual report measures efforts to close the gender equality gap and tracks progress over time, focusing on the four key areas of health, education, economy and politics. Overall, Namibia ranked 17th in the economic participation and opportunity category, 32nd in the educational attainment category and 22nd in the political empowerment category.

Namibia's ranking for women in ministerial positions was its lowest score this year, in 84th place, followed by wage equality for similar work in 69th place, and labour force participation rate in 55th place.



Women in parliament

Top rankings were achieved in the gender gap measure of women participation in the economy as legislators, senior officials and managers, where Namibia ranked 15th, and women in parliament, where the country achieved the eighth spot.

In the education sub-index, Namibia's rankings for enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education received a number one ranking.

In the health and survival ranking, Namibia also scored a number one spot.



Financial disparities

Globally, there is still a 31.4% average gender gap that remains to be closed. The report says that in contrast to the slow, but positive progress in terms of leadership positions, women's participation in the labour market is stalling and financial disparities are slightly larger on average. “On average, only 55% of adult women are in the labour market, versus 78% of men, while over 40% of the wage gap and over 50% of the income gap are still to be bridged.”

Further, it says that in many countries, women are significantly disadvantaged in accessing credit, land or financial products, which prevents opportunities for them to start a company or make a living by managing assets. The top-ranked countries globally were Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden. All the top five countries have closed at least 80% of their gaps, and the best performer, Iceland, has closed 82% of its gap so far.

The lowest-ranked countries are Congo, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen.

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