China's Gender Gap Is Widening, Says Report

The report ranks 144 nations measured on progress in equality in four areas: education, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment. The report said at the current rate of progress, it would now take 100 years on average to achieve overall gender equality.

"Every P100 men earn, women earn P76, which is quite shocking if you think about that", Leopold told ANC.

Both the Philippines and New Zealand have closed 79 percent of their overall gender gap.

Speaking about Iceland's success and what other countries can learn from it, Magnea Marinósdóttir, Equality Unit, Ministry of Welfare, Iceland said, "the success can be attributed to women taking power and creating alternatives to the male dominant "truths" and making the invisible realities of women visible, most importantly discriminatory practices including sexual harassment and abuse". The country, WEF said, has closed 88 per cent of the gender gap.

For instance, while Western European countries could close their gender gaps within 61 years, countries in the Middle East and North Africa will take 157 years, the report estimated.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 11th place overall, up from 17th place a year ago and 70th place in 2006.

Among the industries surveyed globally, large gaps were found in the availability of women talent for entry-level positions and the demand for hiring in industries, like manufacturing, and energy and mining, the talent pool of women graduates was found to be much larger than the demand for hires, it said. One metric was life expectancy: Chinese women outlive men by less than two years on average, compared with a global average of five years. The issue of having a gender-balanced pipeline in this sector should be addressed, said Zahidi.

Statistics highlighted by the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper show that last year, 43.6% girls in Switzerland obtained a secondary school leaving certificate from an apprenticeship or academic high school compared with 33.1% of boys - a discrepancy that has strengthened over the past 15 years.

The reason the Netherlands managed to get 32nd place this year, is because the country is 1st on the list when it comes to gender equality in education.

The report called 2017 "a bad year in a good decade", as the global gender gap had been closing since 2006, the year the report was first published.

Globally, Iceland took the top spot, while Norway and Finland rounded out the top 3. The most challenging gaps are in economy and politics, according to the report.

60 countries this year saw a decrease in their score, meaning equality worsened.

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