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131 years is a long time.

According to the World Economic Forum annual report examining the Global Gender Gap, it will take 131 years to close the gap- that's the year 2154 for those of you counting. It will take 102 years to close the gender gap in Sub Saharan Africa. In Southern Asia, it will take 149 years. And, 152 in North Africa and the Middle East. But, this is no time to gloat in North America where it'll take 95!

In overall rankings, the United States came in dismally at 43, Sierra Leone is at a lowly 112 out of 146. Iceland wins again and Afghanistan is the ultimate loser as usual. In fact, Afghanistan is 17% lower at 40.5% than its closest rival, Chad at 57%- truly in a class of their own when it comes to denying rights, opportunity and education to women and girls.

The WEF GGG report shows more than anything the trends in women's progress in four key areas over the last 17 years. Those indicators are Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. The trends are not good, the overall change from 2006 to 2023 is a mere 4.1% better.

Many countries and whole regions have lost ground in key areas, including Sierra Leone dropping 3 places from last year. Overall, the progress since the report started in 2006 is woefully small. And in the last four years, during the COVID slow down, women lost power and opportunity globally.

A few bright spots- Health and Survival are at 96% globally, meaning the world is close to parity in that area. (Although let's see what happens next year, I have a feeling recent restrictions in abortion access in the US and elsewhere might dent these impressive numbers even though Mexico and other nations have legalized abortion recently.)

Health and Survival is followed closely by Educational Attainment at 95.2%.

A low spot- Political Empowerment remains the lowest indicator attained globally at 22.1%.

You can find the full report here.

There's not much more to say about the report except clearly, there's work to done, lots of it.

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