WHEN the Global Gender Gap Report was first published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2006, Spain was placed at number 11. This year, the country sits at a poor number 29.
The report measures gender equality in 142 countries, using access to opportunities, education, health and political participation. Spain had climbed to number 10 in the ranks in 2007, before falling consistently ever since.
Spain is falling short in comparison to some of the other European countries with the Nordic countries Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark leading the ranks and Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany appearing just below them.
The United Kingdom have also dropped dramatically since the report started, from ninth place in 2006 to 26th this year – slightly above Spain but still not making any drastic signs of improvement in closing the gender gap.
Spain scored rather well on political empowerment, coming in at 23 out of the 142 countries, and received a mid-table rank for educational attainment, but scored very low on economic participation and opportunities. Health and survival was Spain´s lowest ranking at 87, which is surprising considering that Spanish life expectancy in general is good.
However, we must remember that this is also in comparison to other countries as Spain actually achieved scores which were very close to the perfect 1.0 score for equality with 0.9 scored in the health and education categories.
With a lot of countries actually closing the gender equality gap in regards to healthcare and education it does show that we do have the ability to make a big improvement, however the war against male dominated politics and the gender pay gap still rages on. France however, seems to have taken notice of women in regards to politics as their jump in the ranks is due to 49 per cent of their ministers being female, and a recently narrowed pay gap.
On the other hand it´s disappointing to say the least that one of the biggest issues that will stem from this report is that women are still earning substantially less than men in the workplace with fewer than one in five women in the top 1 per cent of earners.
Reports like this prove the lengths a lot of countries still have to go for women to break the glass ceiling, in particular Yemen and Pakistan which were at the very bottom of the table, with Turkey not far ahead as the lowest ranked European country.
You can find more information and read the full report on the World Economic Forum website along with other articles that discuss the issues raised.