Pakistan ranked 151 out of 153. Woohoo we came third from the bottom in the GGGI

Gender equality – if you speak of this 3 times in the mirror you’ll have someone jump up and tell you WE DONT NEED IT! KYA EQUALITY CHAHIYE? WE HAVE ALL THE EQUALITY WE NEED.

The people who tell us there’s perfect equality in the world are the people on the privileged side of the problem, they don’t even know what it is! 

It is one of the biggest barriers to human development. Yes, you can’t progress as human beings without women progressing with you. Even though women/girls/females have made major progress since the early 1990s we haven’t yet reached gender equality. Even today women are discriminated against in health, education, political representation, labour market, etc.—with negative consequences for the development of their capabilities and our freedom of choice.

Over the past 14 years the Global Gender Gap Index report has served as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics.

This year’s report highlights the growing urgency for action. Without the equal inclusion of half of the world’s population, we will not be able to deliver on the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for all of society, grow our economies for greater shared prosperity or achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

At the present rate of progress, it will take nearly a 100 years to achieve parity, a timeline we simply cannot accept in today’s globalized world, especially among younger generations who hold increasingly progressive views of gender equality.

Since 2006 the Global Gender Gap Index has been measuring the extent of gender-based gaps among four key dimensions– 

  • Economic Participation and Opportunity: 
  • Outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment. 
  • This is where the gap is the second widest. Only 58% of the gap has been closed so far. 
  • The dispersion between the best performing countries and those at the bottom of the ranking is substantial. 
  • While the top 10 countries have closed at least 80% of the gap, the bottom 10 countries have only closed 40% of the gap between men and women in the workplace.
  • Educational Attainment: 
  • Outcomes on access to basic and higher level education. 
  • The world is getting better at access to education. The worldwide gap has been closed by 96%. 
  • Yet, Pakistan was ranked 146 here, we still have highly unequal access to education between girls and boys. 
  • Health and Survival:
    Outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio. How many females are born in ratio to men and how long do they survive. 
  • where 95.7% of the global gap has been closed so far. Forty-eight countries have achieved near-parity, the next 71 countries have closed at least 97% of the gap, and only nine countries have yet to close more than 4% of their gap. Among the third group, four large countries — Pakistan (94.6%); India (94.4%); Viet Nam (94.2%) and China (92.6%) — trail behind, which means that millions of women in these and other countries are not yet granted the same access to health as men. 
  1. Political Empowerment: 
  • Outcomes on representation in decision-making structures. 
  • This is the area where women are severely under-represented. Despite a significant improvement from last years index, so far only 25% of the gap has been closed on this subindex, and no country has fully closed this gap yet. 

Iceland has been dominating the Index for well over a decade, as it does in the 2020 report along with Norway, Finland, Sweden and Nicaragua in the top 5 gender equal countries. 

85 of the 153 countries covered in the latest edition have never had a female head of government. Perhaps no coincidence then that five of the top 10 most gender-equal countries have women in charge.

Coming to where Pakistan ranked on the index. Since we always hear people crying over the Aurat March and how women don’t need any rights and have all the rights they need to have!

Pakistan ranked 151 out of 153. Woohoo we came third from the bottom! 

The only countries below ours are Iraq at 152 and Yemen at 153. 

We have to face the facts. In Pakistan women don’t just have to face one  glass ceiling like the rest of the world but also a few more. 

We still suffer from the old age ways of keeping women in chaar deewari. We need to treat women like actual human beings – as equal citizens. 

Pakistan ranks 151 on the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index, having closed only 56% of the gender gap. This performance represents an improvement from the previous edition (55.0), but it is insufficient to prevent Pakistan from falling in the rankings, as new countries have entered the rankings at a higher position.

 Pakistan ranks in the bottom 10 in three of the four main categories of the index and below the 100th mark in 12 of the 14 individual indicators composing the index. 
The gap remains cavernous in terms of economic participation and opportunities (32.7, 150th). Only one-quarter of women participate in the labour force compared with 85% of men (148th). 

Only 5% of senior and leadership roles are held by women (146th), twice the rate of 2016. It is estimated that only 18% of Pakistan’s labour income goes to women (148th), one of the lowest share among countries studied. 

While a majority of countries have bridged or nearly bridged the educational gender gap, Pakistan’s still stands at almost 20%. Less than half of women are literate, compared with 71% of men, while the share of women enrolled is systematically lower than the share of men across primary, secondary and tertiary education. 

The political gender gap has narrowed markedly over the past two years but remains wide (15.9, 93rd). In 2017, there was not a single female minister. As of 1 January 2019, there were three women in the 25-member cabinet. 

In recent studies by the IMF, a 30 percent boost in Pakistan’s GDP could materialize if we closed the gender gap. Gender equality will also lead to a greater equality in the overall income distribution for a country.

When this data is available, why is it that we’re not working towards gender equality? 30% could change the way our whole country works. Why do we want to hold on to “the way the world used to work” because clearly, it’s not working out very well for us. 

Will we see a day in our lifetimes where women are treated better? And seen as equals? So far it seems unlikely that even the next 4 generations could get to that point, if the world survives that long. 

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