Study indicates marked improvement in Chile’s gender equality

An 8.6% increase in parity between men and women between 2006 and 2010 places Chile in the top ten most improved nations of the 134 studied for this year’s report.

manwomanchile550

The 2010 Global Gender Gap Report, an annual study conducted by the World Economic Forum, has Chile as one of the ten most improved nations over the last four years. Out of 134 countries scored, Chile ranks 48 in the 2010 study, having risen from 78 in 2006. The percentage of the gender gap closed – the primary scoring index for the study – is up 8.6% since the first report in 2006. Today, Chile’s gender gap is just over 70% closed.

The World Economic Forum’s study analyzes ratios between men and women in four different areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. According to the report, Chile’s primary strength is in the field of political empowerment, boosted by the tenure of one of the region’s only female presidents, Michele Bachelet, and a high proportion of female ministers. Chile has also achieved near parity in both educational opportunity and health rankings, evaluated according to infant mortality rates and life expectancies.

The primary field still to be closed in Chile is participation in the work force, with only 47% of women participating compared with 78% of men.

Chile also falls well within the top half of nations when comparing the economic status of men and women, ranking 11th among countries with upper middle incomes, including South Africa, Russia and Argentina. Regionally, Chile ranks second amongst the major economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, ahead of Brazil and Mexico, but behind Argentina.

The improvement in Chile’s score over the last four years places it in keeping with global trends toward a rapidly closing gender gap worldwide. Since the first publication of the Index in 2006, enormous strides have been taken toward closing gender gaps worldwide. This year’s report indicates that the political empowerment gap is now 18% closed, the economic participation gap 59% closed, the educational gap is over 93% closed and the health gap over 96% closed.

Chile’s advancement in the index and considerable strides in the last four years indicate a commitment not only to the rapid economic development that has defined the nation in recent years, but also to the development of an increasingly equal and just society.

This post is also available in Spanish