Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sri Lanka among the top

Sri Lanka is among the top 20 in the world for gender equality according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2010 compiled by the World Economic Forum.

Ranking at 16th place, it is above all South Asian nations and second only to Philippines from the Asian region. Sri Lanka stands above developed countries such as United States, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and many other European countries.

Sri Lanka is ranked first in the world in the Health and Survival indicator, and sixth in the Political Empowerment indicator beating European countries such as UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium as well as the entire Asian region.

In the sub category of regions, Sri Lanka is distinctive for being the only South Asian country in the top 20 for the fourth consecutive year, the report states. Sri Lanka is ranked third in the Asia Pacific region with New Zealand at the top, Philippines at two and Australia at four.

“Sri Lanka’s performance remains steady as it maintains the same rank as 2009. In addition to higher-than-average performance in education and health, Sri Lanka continues to hold a privileged position regarding political empowerment,” the report said.

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. The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health based criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time, the report said.

“It’s very encouraging that more countries are becoming aware of why it’s important to reduce the gender gap and are starting to explore policies that may be needed,” the Forum’s Women Leaders and Gender Parity program Head Saadia Zahidi said.

The report assesses life expectancy, salaries, access to high-skilled jobs, access to basic and higher level education, and whether women were represented in government and decision- making structures. The review, begun in 2006, looks at how countries divide resources and opportunities for men and women, regardless of the level of resources available. The report was the result of collaboration between Zahidi; Harvard University Centre for International Development Director Ricardo Hausmann, and California University Business administration and Economic Professor Laura Tyson.

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