Oct 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's gender gap significantly increased over the last year and gender equality ranking declined from a 39 in 2012 to a 55 this year, a report released by the World Economic Forum showed.
The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2013 showed that Sri Lanka has been slipping from its privileged position in the top 20 since 2010. Sri Lanka fell from closing 74.6 percent of the gender gap in 2010 to 70.2 percent this year.
The eighth annual edition of the Report ranks 136 countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality.
"Sri Lanka significantly worsened from its 2012 position of 39th place. From this region (Asia and the Pacific), Sri Lanka dropped furthest, widening its gender gap on the Political Empowerment subindex and falling 8 places to 30th," the 2013 Gender Gap Report noted.
Sri Lanka fell 16 spots, relative to its performance last year, due to a fall on both the Economic Participation and Opportunity (from 105th to 109th place) and the Political Empowerment (from 22nd to 30th place) subindexes, according to the data.
The Report 2013 found that 86 out of 133 countries it surveyed in both 2012 and 2013 improved their global gender gap between the two years, with the area of political participation seeing the greatest progress.
Nordic countries - Iceland Finland, Norway and Sweden - continued to hold the top spots, having closed over 80% of their gender gaps. The United States fell one notch from 2012 and ranked at the 23 position this year closing a 73.9 percent gap.
Overall, Iceland is the most advanced country in the world in terms of gender equality for the fifth year running while Pakistan (135th) and Yemen (136th) ranked at the bottom.