PH improved to 8th place as most gender equal country - WEF

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Korea ranked 118th in last year's report, with a gender gap index of 0.650.

After years of advances in education, health, and political representation, women registered setbacks in all three areas this year, the WEF said.

The report, however, noted that Manila needs to improve in closing the gender gap in its health and survival category.

It calls for more efforts to address the gap, saying it will take 108 years to get rid of gender inequality under the current rate of change. For those looking for the pinnacle of gender of equality so far, they will have to move to the Nordic countries: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland are in the top four of this year's WEF list, with Nicaragua coming in at number five.

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Compounding the gender gap in AI, particularly in wages, are where women are more prevalent - women in AI are only more represented in lower paying industries such as non-profits, education, and healthcare. When it comes to women in parliament, these Western economies - which collectively have closed 41 per cent of the gap - saw progress reverse in 2018.

"Only 23% of the political gap - unchanged since a year ago - has been closed, and no country has yet fully closed political empowerment gaps", according to the report, which compared the number of political offices held by women and men.

Iceland, for the tenth year in a row, held the top spot across all indicators that measured gender equality including social, economic and health, according to the WEF report. The country, which placed 10th overall in 2017, made the considerable leap due to its "strong efforts to close the gender gap in political empowerment".

Japan gained high marks in education and health.

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The analysis, which also uses data from professional networking firm LinkedIn, shows that women working in artificial intelligence are less likely than men to be in high-profile positions. The closer the figure is to 1, the greater the gender parity.

Presently, women earn on average just 63% that of what men earn.

"Industries must proactively hardwire gender parity in the future of work through effective training, reskilling and upskilling interventions and tangible job transition pathways, which will be key to narrowing these emerging gender gaps and reversing the trends we are seeing today", said Saadia Zahidi, head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society and member of the managing board at WEF in a statement.

"More than ever, societies can not afford to lose out on the skills, ideas and perspectives of half of humanity", said Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the WEF.

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With an average remaining gender gap of 34.2pc, South Asia was the second-lowest scoring region on this year's Global Gender Gap Index, ahead of the Middle East and North Africa and behind Sub-Saharan Africa.

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