Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world for the 14th year in a row
The UAE enjoys the highest gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, surpassing Israel, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023, released on Wednesday.
Other top regional countries for gender equality include Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar and Egypt.
In the latest report, the UAE was ranked 71st globally, up from 60th last year.
Both the UAE and Egypt have seen increases in the proportion of women in senior official positions and in technical positions.
The UAE enjoys full equality with Mexico, Nicaragua, Rwanda and New Zealand in terms of equality in the number of seats in the national parliament.
Across the world, global gender equality has returned to pre-Covid-19 levels, but progress has been slow and the pace of change has stalled due to intertwined crises, the report said.
Iceland has been the most gender-equal country in the world for 14 consecutive years and the only country that has eliminated more than 90% of the gender gap. Although no country has yet achieved full gender equality. The top nine countries are Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Nicaragua, Namibia, Lithuania and Belgium.
Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, said: “While there are encouraging signs of a return to pre-pandemic levels, women continue to bear the brunt of the current cost of living crisis and labor market disruptions. “
“Economic rebound requires full creativity and a diversity of ideas and skills. We must not lose momentum for women’s economic participation and opportunities,” she added.
Compared to other regions, Mena remains the furthest from parity with a score of 62.6%. Based on a constant sample of countries covered since 2006, the region’s parity has declined by 0.9 percentage points since the previous edition.