Gender equality will be impossible for a hundred years - WEF

It will take 217 years to close the gender gap. Here's what you need to know

New Zealand is among the top ten nations in the world when it comes to gender equality, according to a new global report.

"Gender equality is both a moral and economic imperative".

The WEF warned that the global gender gap is now widening, following a decade of slow progress toward parity between the sexes.

The Index measures equality between men and women in 144 countries worldwide in four key sectors: health, education and political and economic participation. In economic participation and opportunity, it rose to 114th from 118th due to a narrower income gap.

Among Arab countries, Tunisia is the highest ranked at 117, followed by the UAE at 120 and Bahrain at 126.

Among the G-20 countries, France is ranked highest on gender parity at 11th place in the global ranking, followed by Germany (12), the United Kingdom (15), Canada (16), South Africa (19) and Argentina (34).

The global gender gap in 2017 widened for the first time since records began in 2006, with a halt in progress in economic and political areas sparking concerns, the World Economic Forum said in a report Thursday.

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The report also reveals that on average, 66 per cent of women's work in India is unpaid, compared to 12 per cent of men's work.

New Zealand has closed 79 percent of its overall gender pay gap, putting it at ninth place.

The US dropped its ranking by four points to 49th position on the index, while China moved down one place to 100th.

For instance, while Western European countries could close their gender gaps within 61 years, countries in the Middle East and North Africa will take 157 years, the report estimated.

Overall, the Nordic countries once again dominated the top of the table: men and women were most equal in Iceland, followed by Norway and Finland. South Asia's prediction is reported to be undefined. "Also, keeping in mind all the reforms happening at the moment, next year's report results seem to be even more promising".

The report assessed that at the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to close, compared to 83 last year.

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