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WEF Gender Parity Report: Bangladesh tops South Asia

Bilal9

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Bangladesh has managed to stay ahead of its regional neighbors since 2014.

Bangladesh has held its topmost position among the countries of South Asia in ensuring gender equality, for the seventh time in a row, according to a latest report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Despite being the best performer in the region, Bangladesh has slipped 15 notches to rank 65th among 156 countries on the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2021, which benchmarks countries based on how close they are to reaching gender equality.

According to the 15th edition of the report published on March 31, Bangladesh’s overall gender gap has widened by 0.7% which caused it global position to deteriorate.

However, Bangladesh is the only South Asian nation in the top 100 countries globally, having closed 71.9% of its overall gender gap so far.

In the latest report, Nepal has been ranked second best in the region, as the country narrowed the overall gender gap by 68.3% and hold the 106th position globally.

Sri Lanka has ranked third in the region after closing the gender gap by 67% and placed at the 116th position on the index, followed by the Maldives at 128th position and Bhutan at 130th position.

India was placed at the 140th position, third from the bottom in the region while Pakistan stands 153rd globally, being the second-worst performer in the region.

Afghanistan was named as the least gender-equal country in the world, with gender gap closed by 44.4%.

Region-wise, South Asia is the second-lowest performer after the Middle East and North Africa combined, bridging 62.3% of its gender gap. It is now expected to take 195.4 years to close the gender gap.

Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th time, being closest to achieving gender equality. It has narrowed the gender gap by 89.2%, followed by Finland 86.1%, Norway 84.9%, New Zealand 84%, and Sweden 82.3%.

Four key dimensions

The WEF prepares the index measuring gender-based gaps on four key dimensions -- economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

The scores placed Bangladesh at 147th in economic participation and opportunity, 121st in educational attainment, 134th in health and survival, and 7th in political empowerment.

Bangladesh's declining performance is almost entirely due to a reversal in closing the "economic participation and opportunity" gender gap, which measures labor force participation, wage equity for comparable jobs, estimated earned income, and the proportion of women among politicians, senior officials, and managers, as well as among professionals and technical staff.

The country has made more gains in terms of "political empowerment" than in terms of gender equity, with 54.6% of the gender gap closed so far.

"Bangladesh is the country where a woman has been in a head-of-state role the longest (27 years) over the past 50 years. Yet, more must be done to involve women at all levels of political life," WEF said in the report.

In terms of educational attainment that depends on literacy rate and enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education, Bangladesh has made a remarkable progress bridging 95.1% of the gender gap.


As many as 37 countries have already attained gender parity in this regard.

While gender differences in health and survival, as measured by the sex ratio at birth and life expectancy, are limited, the report claims that a larger change is needed to improve women's security and health.

As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt, the global gender gap seems to have been extended by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.
 

PoondolotoPandalum

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It used to be 44/45th (ahead of the US), probably the highest for any Muslim majority country. But it has come down by quite a lot, does anyone know why? Covid disruption? Still among the highest for any Muslim majority country, I think. But still, a lot of multidimensional problems persist that need to be urgently tackled. like 53.3% of women experiencing marital violence in their lifetime? (!!!!!!)

India being considerably behind Egypt is pretty shocking tbh. It likes to portray itself as a progressive modern country in front of everyone's screens. But the reality on the ground is very different, especially in its rural areas.

The less said about Pakistan the better. At this rate, I don't see them improving that much anytime soon. Not least because it'll trigger a massive political/religious/philosophical firestorm across the country, as topics like this always does
 
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Pandora

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It used to be 44/45th (ahead of the US), probably the highest for any Muslim majority country. But it has come down by quite a lot, does anyone know why? Covid disruption? Still among the highest for any Muslim majority country, I think. But still, a lot of multidimensional problems persist that need to be urgently tackled. like 53.3% of women experiencing marital violence in their lifetime? (!!!!!!)

India being considerably behind Egypt is pretty shocking tbh. It likes to portray itself as a progressive modern country in front of everyone's screens. But the reality on the ground is very different, especially in its rural areas.

The less said about Pakistan the better. At this rate, I don't see them improving that much anytime soon. Not least because it'll trigger a massive political/religious/philosophical firestorm across the country, as topics like this always does

Problem is that every time there is a movement it gets hijacked by likes of Aurat March or some political party. People simply dont participate in social trends led by foreign funded organisation in Pakistan. As a matter of fact aurat march has destroyed any hope for a wide scale movement for gender parity when they politcised it. Unless such groups are shown the door majority will never come out in support.
 

PoondolotoPandalum

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Pakistan is also improving. Most middle aged women are illiterate but there is very little difference in the literacy rate of girls and boys it would also increase female employment

With respect, it isn't. You have massive gender disparity in your youth (15-24) literacy. It's 79% for males, 65% for females, and 72% overall.

A 14 point gender difference is not small by anyone's definition. In fact, it's rather alarming. And your government isn't trying to do anything about it. Instead, they focus on useless, politically expedient PR stunts like increasing religious topics in the school curriculum, making Arabic part of the curriculum, etc. That will bring them more votes than addressin your alarming gender disparity, particularly in education

For perspective in Bangladesh, it's 94% male, 96% female (higher than males!), and 95% overall. Need I remind you Bangladesh was even more illiterate than Pakistan in 1971. (source: World Bank)

Please have a read on the actual report, things clearly aren't improving fast enough in your country. Not only you're far lower than you ought to be, but the pace of improvement is also very stagnant. Please read actual scholarly works, instead of political slogans and promises. The sooner you acknowledge you have a problem, the better

 
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A 14 point gender difference is not small by anyone's definition. In fact, it's rather alarming. And your government isn't trying to do anything about it. Instead, they focus on useless, politically expedient PR stunts like increasing religious topics in the school curriculum, making Arabic part of the curriculum, etc. That will bring them more votes than addressin your alarming gender disparity, particularly in education
May be you will not read in news papers but we on ground level know that there is massive pressure on boys and girls to get education nowadays.And fortunately,our standard of education and discipline in universities is also improving day by day.

What are you saying about arabic and these things,my friend,we are trying to make our educated people more familiar with religion.For this ,we study Islamic studies and Pak studies in our BS programs also.
Single national curriculum is a welcome step.This will bring equality in education for both the poor and the rich and in all parts of Pakistan irrespective of their province and ethnicity. In 2020, Our medical colleges enterance test was named national MDCAT.The test was same all over the country.These little steps play an important part in building standard educational system.

So in shorte ,there is massive pressure for education.I personally think this is not due to any govt.step but it has more to do with thinking in society.
 

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