Bangladesh tops South Asia ranking on gender gap index

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Published on July 14, 2022
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The gender gap in Bangladesh is the lowest among countries in South Asia, according to a study by the World Economic Forum.

Bangladesh ranked 71st out of 146 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index 2022 with a score of 0.714, the WEF said on Thursday.

Globally, Iceland topped the list on gender equality, with a score of 0.908, while Afghanistan, where the Taliban have taken power once again, came in at the bottom with 0.435.

The study breaks down the overall gender parity of a country into four subindexes – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

Bangladesh ranked ninth overall in terms of political participation. 

However, there was a reduction in workforce participation for both men and women, but the proportional impact was higher for women. However, the difference was counteracted slightly by an increase in the share of women engaged in professional and technical work as well as an increase in estimated earned income.

Bangladesh topped the regional ranking, followed by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh and Nepal had closed 69% of their gender gaps, the WEF said, while Afghanistan had only closed 43.5%, the lowest in the world.

The best indicator for the region is political empowerment, which has usually been strong due to the high share of women in political leadership. Bangladesh, India and Nepal, where women have held the highest office in the country or participate more widely in government, scored the highest in the region on this front.