The gender gap is actually getting wider; the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates it’s going to take a century for women to achieve equality in political empowerment, economic participation, health, and education.
In its latest Global Gender Gap report that benchmarks 144 countries on their progress toward gender parity, the WEF’s analysis shows that not only has equality stalled out, it’s taken a move back from 2016’s estimated 83 years to close the gap between men and women across those four measures. This year, the economic gender gap, in particular, has dropped to where it was in 2008.
The U.S. fell four places to 49th place among all the countries ranked, which places us at only 77% of the way to gender parity in economic opportunity. The picture is even more bleak for women in politics, where we are only 12% of the way to political equality (thanks to women’s paltry representation in Congress and President Trump’s cabinet).
The country that ranked number one on the list? Iceland, where women may soon be equal to men in their contribution to the national economy.
Although the education–specific gender gap could close within the next 13 years, the Global Gender Gap Index highlights the fact that even though more women are being educated, they are still underrepresented in the workforce.
Recent estimates suggest that economic gender parity could add an additional $1.75 billion to the U.S. economy.