Sri Lanka’s gender gap increased over the last year and gender equality ranking declined from a 16 in 2010 to a 31 this year, a report released by the World Economic Forum showed. The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2011 showed that Sri Lanka has slipped several places from its privileged position in the top 20 over the last five years. Sri Lanka fell from closing 74.6 percent of the gender gap in 2010 to 72.1 percent this year.
The report measures the gap between men and women in four key areas: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and survival, and Political empowerment.
The report noted that while Sri Lanka shows a higher-than-average performance in health and political empowerment, the gap between women and men’s estimated earned income widened and new data on tertiary education showed a large gender gap among those enrolled in tertiary education.
In labor force participation Sri Lanka ranked at the 119th position out of 135 reviewed countries with only 34.5 percent women working. The Estimated Earned Income for women was 36 percent of men’s’ income placing the country at 120th position.
The gender gap widened in the category of Women in Parliament placing Sri Lanka among the Arabic countries at the 122nd position.
Despite the high literacy rate and the almost equal participation in primary and secondary education, enrollment of women in tertiary education in higher education institutes ranked at 120th place with only half the women received tertiary education when compared with the number of men.
In Health and Survival Sri Lanka remained at the top position over the years among the developed nations.
In the Asia and the Pacific region, New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia and Sri Lanka were ranked highest.
Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – continued to hold top spots, having closed over 80% of their gender gaps. The United States ranked at the 17 position in between United Kingdom and Canada.
The Global Gender Gap Index, introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress.