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​How Close Are We To Closing the Gender Gap? This Map Will Tell You

See how your country fares against the rest of the world.

by Clinton Nguyen
Nov 20 2015, 10:00am

How the US scores (in blue) stacks up against the world average (in black). Image: World Economic Forum

How close are we to closing the gender gap? That's an extremely broad question that the World Economic Forum is attempting to answer with its annual Global Gender Gap report, which ranks countries based on gender equality.

With the map above, you can scroll through and zoom in to see exactly how your country fares against the rest of the world. The darker countries have more equal treatment of men and women, brighter countries less so.

The WEF ranks 145 countries based on four pillars: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Within those four pillars are more granular scores and observations, like female to male unemployment, paternity/maternity leave, degree holders, and so on. It's an extensive report and a fairly good scorecard if you're trying to see how high the glass ceiling is on any given country.

If you're curious how your country stacks up against the rest of the world, each country profile comes with its own report card, showing in blue how it compares to the global average:

Each scorecard has equality markers that rate the countries in different categories, marked on dotted lines below:

The US' score card. Image: World Economic Forum

You'll see that men and women in the US are roughly getting the same treatment in terms of health and education. Wage gaps are no surprise here—a survey from the organization says that roughly 64 percent of people believe women get equal pay for equal work. This places the US as the 74th ranked country for wage equality.

But the biggest inequity the US faces by far is the representation of women in politics: Women fill less than a fifth of the seats in Congress.

On the top end of the spectrum, you can see where mostly Iceland, Finland, and other Nordic countries are doing, you'll see the same thing across the board: plenty of women in technical jobs, more women going to college than men (interestingly, the scale says this makes it look like this is more equal), and incomes are largely on par compared to the rest of the countries.

But despite this rosy picture in the North, the WEF notes that women worldwide are still facing a major equality crisis—despite 250 million women entering the workforce over the past 9 years, the average woman makes what the average man did 9 years ago. From 2006-2015 average global earnings went from up from $6,000 a year for women and $11,000 a year for men to $11,000 for women and $21,000 for men.

Similarly, while women are picking up more college degrees on average, they're still underutilized in the workforce. They're taking up less skilled roles than men, namely the sorts of jobs that college/technical degree holders would be qualified for: surgeons, engineers, business leaders, and so on.

Thankfully, on a broad scale, countries are generally moving in the right direction. While economic opportunities (wage gaps especially) and political representation for women hold the biggest gaps, things are looking up as a whole. Labor force participation has increased in 80 percent of countries. The Forum says 103 of those 145 countries have narrowed their gender gaps.

Women may be in a better place than where they were ten years ago, but the fight to close the pay gap, the fight for inclusion in politics, and reproductive rights, among many other issues, are far from over. These are far more complicated stories that can't be told with a simple ratio or ranking.

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