1 March 2007
The World Economic Forum has called New Zealand a leader in closing the gender gap. New Zealand ranks seventh in a 2006 survey of 115 countries representing 90 percent of the world’s population. In an earlier (2005) report using a different methodology, the Forum placed New Zealand sixth out of 58 countries.
The Gender Gap report measures how close to equality men and women are in terms different indicators such as health, political empowerment, education and economic participation. In terms of economic participation and opportunity, New Zealand is ranked 14th. But within the area of economic participation, it is among the countries ranked first for having equal numbers of technical and professional workers.
New Zealand's gender gap ranks 14th for women’s income levels and 14th for numbers of female legislators, senior officials and managers. For women's labour force participation, it ranks 19th. New Zealand lags behind in pay equity however, ranking only 59th in offering equal pay for equal work.
No country in the world has fully succeeded in closing the gender gap, according to the report. The report says that countries with a small gender gap have a strong correlation with high per capita GDP and high scores on the Global Competitiveness Index.
“Although correlation does not imply causality, it is consistent with the theory that empowering women translates into a more efficient use of an economy’s human resources, and thus affects the overall productivity and economic performance of countries.”
The Forum’s Global Gender Gap 2006 benchmarks the strengths and weaknesses of different countries in terms of women’s access to health, education, political power and economic opportunities. It also serves as a guide to policy by highlighting which countries have had more success in promoting equality between women and men.
Read the complete Global Gender Gap Report 2006
World economic forum - Gender gap report 2006