The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2009 has ranked Japan as being the developed nation with the least amount of gender equality, ranking it below such nations as China in a report which claims to “assess countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations.”
The rest of the report throws up some odd rankings…
5. New Zealand
6. South Africa
15. United Kingdom
16. Sri Lanka
19. Trinidad & Tobago
Scores range from 0 to 1, and “can roughly be interpreted as the percentage of the gender gap which has been closed.” The full report can be examined on the World Economic Forum’s site.
The presence of Scandinavian countries at the top of the list should surprise nobody, but a ranking of sixth for the country with some of the highest rates of sexual violence against women in the world immediately calls into question the criteria used.
Not even making the top 20, the US placed 31st and Canada 25th.
Japan’s score has improved 25 places to 75th on list since 2008, but it is still ranked lowest amongst all major developed nations by a substantial margin.
Even China managed to place 60th, despite being a nation where in some rural areas women are still bought and sold by marriage brokers, and where factory owners openly boast of preferring female employees as being more tractable.
The report is also scathing of other Asian nations, with Islamic countries unsurprisingly dominating the lowest levels of the ranking as hard as they dominate their female populace.
However, Singapore manages only 83rd place, and South Korea only manages 115th, barely above the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not far in fact from Yemen, placed dead last at 134th.
A report which manages to produce such questionable rankings certainly deserves to be treated with scepticism…