India falls to 108 on World Economic Forum's gender gap index

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New Zealand is among the top ten nations in the world when it comes to gender equality, according to a new global report.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia has closed on average 71 per cent of its gender gap, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report. WEF said that for the first time since measurements began to be taken across the four key pillars of health, education, the workplace and political representation, the global gap has widened.

India's decline in position is due to gender gaps in political empowerment, healthy life expectancy and literacy. Women in the USA do find parity with men in educational attainment and get close on metrics of health and survival.

Even for developed countries, like the United Kingdom, which was ranked 15th on the Global Gender Gap list, 56.7 per cent of women's work is unpaid, as against 32 per cent men's.

Sociologists have noted that if the struggle for gender equality will be held at the current rate, then wait for the result will have at least a hundred years, although last year the situation was only talking about 83 years of waiting.

A year ago the Netherlands dropped from 13th to 16th place.

The country to rank first on the gender gap index was Iceland.

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She added that the history of Islam had many examples of powerful women who played a full part in business and society.

Among Arab countries, Tunisia is the highest ranked at 117, followed by the UAE at 120 and Bahrain at 126.

In India, it said, the average hiring of women has increased by 6 per cent across the 12 industries surveyed.

Also at the top are Sweden, Norway, Finland and Rwanda. The latter two are of particular concern because they already carried the largest gaps and, until this year, were registering the fastest progress.

The World Economic Forum says in a new report that "equality is in retreat" for the first time since the group starting tracking the issue in 2006. The most challenging gender gaps remain in the economic and health spheres. "However out of the 17 countries covered by the index in the MENA region this year, 11 countries have improved their overall score compared to last year". Four countries have crossed the 50-percent threshold, and 34 countries have closed less than 10 percent of the gap (five less than last year).

Political empowerment has the widest gender gap with only Iceland having closed more than 70 percent of the gap.

Women fared much better in education, where equality could be reached within 13 years, WEF said, while closing the gap in political empowerment could take a further 99 years.

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