Print Edition - 2016-11-13  |  News

Nepal fails to improve on 2015’s place

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 13, 2016-

Nepal has failed to improve its ranking on the Global Gender Gap report for the first time in six years, finishing in the 110th—same as last year. The report tracks the position of women and girls across the world. 

The country had been narrowing the gender gap for the six consecutive years until last year. Nepal had climbed nine spots up in the 2014 annual report published by the World Economic Forum, and made up two spots last year. 

Based on the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: 

health, education, economy and politics. 

This year’s lack of progress was attributed to reversal of gains made in the health sector. But women occupying key positions following the promulgation of the constitution puts a brake on any potential downward spiral. Women occupy three powerful positions—President, Chief Justice and Speaker of the House in the country . 

Similarly, the constitutional provision to reserve a third of the total seats for women in all government bodies has also worked in Nepal’s favour. The report has noted that Nepal has made small improvements on the Political Empowerment sub index as well as on literacy and wage equality. However, its progress in the health sector (sex rate ratio and health life expectancy) has not been on par with the previous years. Earlier, Nepal had been standing out in health and survival index. 

“The challenge for a developing country like ours is consistency. We had been doing well in the health sector for the past couple of years, but we failed to close gender gap at the same level,” said Babita Basnet, women right activist and president of the Media Advocacy Group.   

The gender gap in the country can be narrowed further if Nepal implements all the national policies and international laws on women’s rights it has ratified, according to Basnet. 

The 2016 report covers 144 countries. The country’s overall performance on the Global Gender Gap Index is measured on 0-to-1 scale.

Nepal with the score of 0.661 lies behind Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India among South Asian countries. Bangladesh is at 72nd spot while India has leapfrogged from 108th position to 87th. The Maldives (115th), Bhutan (121st) and Pakistan (143rd) are behind Nepal in the ranking.

According to the report no country in South Asia has fully closed its Educational Attainment gender gap, and only one country, Sri Lanka, has fully closed its Health and Survival gender gap. 

Iceland occupied the top spot in this year’s rankings with a score of 0.874, while Yemen with 0.516 is at the bottom of the pile.

Published: 13-11-2016 08:30

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