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Educated and Talented, But Lacking Opportunities

Educated and Talented, But Lacking Opportunities Educated and Talented, But Lacking Opportunities , Educated and Talented, But Lacking Opportunities , Educated and Talented, But Lacking Opportunities

Iran ranks 139th in the latest World Economic Forum annual report on “The Global Gender Gap”—a two-notch improvement from last year’s 141st.

The WEF report gave Iran a score of 0.587 in terms of women’s parity with men (0.00 being imparity, 1.00 indicating parity).

The 2016 report covers 144 countries (last year, it included 145 countries) and quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.

Iran ranked 140th for economic participation and opportunity, 94 for educational attainment, 98 for health and survival and 136 for political empowerment.

The economic participation and opportunity sub-index (which is the main focus of this writing) contains three concepts: participation gap, remuneration gap and advancement gap.

The participation gap is captured using the difference between women and men in labor force participation rates. Iran has scored 0.224 (the average is 0.665) and ranked 142nd in this category. Last year, the country was placed 143rd.

The remuneration gap is captured through a hard data indicator (ratio of estimated female-to-male earned income) where Iran has ranked 141st and a qualitative indicator gathered through the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey (wage equality for similar work) where the country was placed at 101st.

Finally, the gap between the advancement of women and men is captured through two hard data statistics. The ratio of women to men among legislators, senior officials and managers, in which Iran ranked 100th, and the ratio of women to men among technical and professional workers subcategory, where the country ranked 111th.

The WEF says Iran has narrowed the gender gap for legislators, senior officials and managers as well as women parliamentarians, from a low base. It has also fully closed its gender gap in primary and secondary education.

However, it regresses on wage equality, professional and technical workers as well as the tertiary enrollment gender gap.

The data reveal four broad groups of countries: (1) countries that have closed or are generally on track to close education gender gaps and show high levels of women’s economic participation; (2) countries that have closed or are generally closing education gender gaps but show low levels of women’s economic participation; (3) countries that have large education gaps as well as large gaps in women’s economic participation; and (4) countries that have large education gaps but display small gaps in women’s economic participation.

According to the report, Iran is among a group of countries that have made key investments in women’s education, but generally did not remove barriers to their participation in the workforce and are thus not seeing returns on their investments in terms of development of one half of their nation’s human capital.

This group includes Iran, the UAE, Chile and India. These countries have an educated but untapped talent pool and much to gain from women’s greater participation in the workforce.

Iceland is the top country on the WEF’s Global Gender Gap index and Yemen comes in last in the index.

 

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