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Equal Pay Is Coming. In the Year 2277

World Economic Forum is out with its annual Global Gender Gap Report
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2019 1:47 PM CST

(Newser) – The good news: A new report finds women and men in the workplace will eventually achieve gender parity. The bad news: That won't happen until right around 2277. The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report finds that at the current rate of change, the gender pay gap will take 257 more years to close, NBC News reports. That's up from the annual report's estimate last year of 202 years. The report ranked 153 countries on gender disparity in the areas of economics, politics, education, and health; the US came in 53rd overall, two spots lower than last year. The top 10: Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda, and Germany. The bottom 10: Yemen came in dead last, followed by Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Chad, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Oman.

As the Forum explains in an article accompanying the report, the gender gap has narrowed overall since last year, but in the area of economics, it has widened. As for why that is, "women’s participation in the labor market is stalling and financial disparities are growing," the article says. Just 55% of adult women are in the labor market compared to 78% of adult men; the average annual income for women around the world is $11,500, compared to $21,500 for men. In all three other areas, the gap narrowed, but the largest gap remains in the political arena, where just 24.7% of the gap has been closed. This year, 21.2% of ministerial positions and 25.2% of parliamentary lower-house seats around the world were held by women. "This year’s evolution speeds up the pace of progress towards parity [in politics], yet it will still take 94.5 years—even at this faster rate—to close the gender gap," says the report. Economics is next with 57.8% of the gap closed and 257 years to close entirely, followed by health (95.7% closed, not clear how long to close entirely) and education (96.1% closed, 12 years to close entirely).

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