The Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI)

The Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI)

When I was researching SDG 5, I knew from past experiences and arguments that it was going to be a tough topic for me to write about.

In my previous article on Gender Equality, I tried to look at the usual controversy of being one-sided when it comes to equality. That’s why I root for the critic that insists that having an index like the GGGI is only measuring women’s issues. This is true to some extent. Although to distance myself from my previous argument, this index is measuring the very basics in society. It is not designed to measure only women’s issues.

It was created to analyse the very basics of society and its institutions.

“The report examines four overall areas of inequality between men and women in 130 economies around the globe, over 93% of the world’s population (1).”

1. Economic Participation and Opportunity

a) Salaries: you would consider the UK among one of the most equal salary-providing nations, right? Well, that is about to be quickly debunked. Thanks to new regulations as employers must provide data on gender concerning pay. Check it out per profession by yourself using this online database. Even in a profession like nursing, which is considered a somewhat feminine profession, men get slightly more than women. Isn’t that interesting?

86% are women in such positions, but they make hourly a tiny bit less, which makes a difference annually. How come?

b) Participation level: using the same statistics, let’s pick a higher position, Chief Executives and Senior Officials.

30% of such positions in Britain are held by women. How come?

c) Access to high-skilled employment: “Examples of skilled labour include engineers, software development, paramedics, police officers, soldiers, physicians, crane operators, truck drivers, machinist, drafters, plumbers, craftsmen, cooks and accountants (2).”

Almost all jobs listed are traditionally considered “male jobs”, so to be less biased, let’s check accountants, cooks, and software developers.

So, in Britain, women hold 45% of all jobs in accounting, whether they are full-time or part-time. For the former alone, they hold only 41%. In other words, they are still making nearly £8000 less a year on average than their male counterparts.

Above is another example that focuses on full-time employment where females make less (£3000 annually) than males, even though they hold 75% of such positions in the UK. It is worth noting here that, as part-time cooks, women make more money; and for all employment types combined, again, it is women making an additional £1000 annually.

Another male-dominated sector, programmers, we can see men fill 91% of these positions, and make yearly £5000 more than women. (I calculated this statistic as it is somehow not showing, but £18.05/hour is around £35,883 annually).

2. Educational Attainment

a) Higher education: “Women aged 18 are 35% more likely to start a degree course than their male counterparts (3).”

Closing the gender pay gap in the UK (discussed above) is not impossible because women are not skilled or educated enough as that is not a valid argument. I wanted to get that out of the way before anyone chose to use that as an excuse.

This could be an argument for male issues to be included in SDG 5 if the situation looked the same globally. Although, international statistics show disadvantages for women instead.

Sex Differences in Education

There is a conspicuous gap in gender participation in secondary education, as seen above in all regions.

b) Literacy: On a global level woman are still behind, “The literacy rate for men is 87%, the rate for women is 77% (4)”.

3. Political Empowerment

a) Woman in political decision making:

In the UK, “Overall, 32% of MPs are women, but there are significant variations between parties (5)”.

Globally, “Only 23% of the world’s politicians are women (6)”.

Globally, we have nearly the same amount of males as females:

In 2017, 49.56% of the world’s population was female, only +0.88% more was male. Both genders constitute nearly half of the global population, so why are 77% of political decisions made by males globally (7)?

Please explain to me: If that fact isn’t tragic, then what is? I am not a huge fan of quotas, but I vividly see a need for some sort of conscious change here. Can you?

4. Health and Survival

a) Life expectancy: In general, women live longer, which can be another reason for SDG 5 to include targets for male issues, too. I completely support such action and see the need to focus attention on this topic.

b) Sex ratio at birth: I thought there was not much of a concern here, as nature has its way when it comes to sex at birth, but there is. An intervention influences the global male birth rate to be higher than it would be naturally, which shocked me to the core… Yes, gender-specific abortions are a thing! There is a “higher than the natural proportion of male births globally, mostly due to son preference in East Asia and South Asia (8)”.

There you have it.

The above are all the four categories explained in detail, based on which the statistics are collected and the GGGI is estimated.

Now, let’s spill the real “tea”.

International Comparison

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 Infographic (9)

While running through the ascending sorted list of the GGGI, I was expecting to see Africa at the very bottom.

Actually, according to the data, in 2018, Yemen (Middle East) scored the lowest. After that was Pakistan (South Asia), Syria (Middle East) and Chad (Africa). The list continued mainly with countries from Africa and the Middle East, occasionally with a few from Asian regions.

After scanning through 40 nations, it occurred to me to look at my region, Europe. Scrolling down slowly, I was wondering on a list of nearly 200 country names where Europe would appear in the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI).

I have learned a lot from writing this SDG 5 report. I can proudly say that many of my biases were settled in my previous article. However, some stereotypes even burst for me in researching and writing for this one.

Never would I have ever thought, the first country name, from the bottom scrolling up representing Europe would be my country, Hungary, in dismal 44th place (from the bottom).

Perhaps, that was the biggest myth I was making myself mistakenly believe—that in Central Europe, especially in my country, women were facing fewer social inequalities.

To my surprise, after Hungary, it took a little while to find the next European country: Malta, at 55th.

Even countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, or even Ebola-affected Liberia and Senegal have a narrower gender gap than Hungary, according to this Index.

In 62nd place is the Czech Republic, Slovakia is 64th. With them included, at least we are in the same sub-region, Central-East Europe, and share a quite similar political, economic, religious and legal environment, compared to all the other countries mentioned above.

How come my country is so behind in gender equality, compared to the others in the region? How come I have never really noticed it, in respect to all those four main aspects? Well, that is not true, regarding equal pay, I have noticed. But to score that bad in the GGGI, Hungary has to be quite unequal in the rest too. Oh, yes, political decision making—the current cabinet, I believe, has only one woman out of 14 heads.

What do you think about your motherland or country of residence? How do you experience gender inequality in a local, national, regional or global level? Share your thoughts with me.

Calls to Action:

  1. Read more on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.
  2. Discuss the following topic with your sympathizers: What is to be done to reduce inequalities affecting all genders? Which above mentioned inequalities are the most urgent to tackle according to you, and why?
  3. Find a project and reach out to the host entity to support them with advice or funds to deliver it, especially West African entities as there is an urgent need to provide SDG-related changes there.
  4. Sponsor and motivate someone in your world to take on a Global Volunteer project with AIESEC. I suggest Creative Mind in the Benin Republic.

– Krisztina Kapuvari

  1. Global Gender Gap Report
  2. Skill Worker
  3. UK Male University Numbers Continue to Fall Behind
  4. Male and Female Literacy Rates by Country
  5. Election 2017: Record Number of Female MPs
  6. Only 23% of the World’s Politicians Are Women. It’s Time for That to Change
  7. Population, Female (% of Total Population)
  8. Gender Imbalance
  9. The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 Infographic
  • Created and Screenshots by Krisztina@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
  • Illustrated by Oguz@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
  • Proofed and Edited by Greg@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
  • Edited and Published by Lee@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
  • Supported and Funded by Advertising-Free Online Sales of What Are You Still Waiting For? Publications and Affiliation with WordPress

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of #WAYSWF.

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