Cyprus losing gender equality battle

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Cyprus has made the least progress amongst its fellow EU members in closing the gender equality gap, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

WEF’s 17th edition of the 2023 Global Gender Gap Index rates gender equality in 146 countries on a scale of 0 to 100.

The Global Gender Gap Index annually benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment).

It is the longest-standing index tracking the progress of countries’ efforts towards closing these gaps over time since its inception in 2006.

Cyprus dropped 13 places and 0.018 points from last year’s ranking, falling to 106th with an overall score of 0.678 from 93rd in 2022.

Cyprus, Hungary, and the Czech Republic recorded the worst performance among European states, while the average EU gender equality index reached 76.3% parity.

In contrast, Iceland performed best, followed by Norway, Finland, New Zealand, and Sweden.

Regarding the subcategories assessed by the WEF, Cyprus was ranked 93rd in terms of economic participation and opportunity, dropping from the 76 last year.

The gap between the two sexes was particularly evident in the labour force participation rate, the estimated income index in general, but also for legislators, senior executives and managers, and professional and technical workers.

Regarding the subcategory of educational level, Cyprus was 80th, with the gender gap worsening, compared to 74th in 2022.

For political empowerment, Cyprus ranked 117th.

Cyprus, Romania and Hungary scored the lowest for political empowerment in Europe, while only Estonia, Slovenia and Latvia improved.

It did improve in the health and survival subcategory; the country now ranks 120th, up from 132nd in 2022.

According to the World Economic Forum, Europe has had a general slowdown in closing the gender gap by 0.2 percentage points in the overall score based on country data.

Of the 35 countries covered in previous reports, only 10 states have improved their pace of closing the gender gap.

The top three of these states were Estonia, Norway and Slovenia.