Mind the gender gap: Ireland’s rating is on the rise
3 Apr 2012
IRELAND HAS CLIMBED two places in the World Economic Forum's gender equality league table to sixth place.
The Global Gender Gap Report measures equality in the areas of politics, education, employment and health.
Ireland still ranks behind Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand, but is now ahead of Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum told the BBC:
Low gender gaps are directly correlated with high economic competitiveness. Women and girls must be treated equally if a country is to grow and prosper.
When the score was broken down into detailed rankings, Ireland was awarded a perfect score for equality in education attainment.
The Republic did less well in the category of political empowerment, achieving a seven - and dropped down again in terms of economic participation and opportunity to 25.
The biggest drop was in terms of health and survival, for which Ireland scored an 89.
Meanwhile, the United States has reached the top twenty for the first time ever since the rankings began in 2006, due to a higher number of women in President Obama's administration and a reduction in the country's gender pay gap.