Manama, Apr. 2 (BNA): The Kingdom of Bahrain ranked first in the Gulf and second in the Arab world in the field of economic participation and opportunities in the annual report of the World Economic Forum, Davos, on measuring the gender gap in 156 countries in the world.
The accomplishment is considered a new qualitative achievement for the kingdom which moved from third to second place at the Gulf level in terms of Total Value Index.
The report, which monitors gender disparity in four areas (education, health, economic opportunities and political empowerment), affirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain has been able to continue bringing about further achievements in these areas. It showed Bahrain’s ability to bridge 63.2% of the gender gap, compared to the global average of 68%. In addition, the gap in education closed at a rate of 98.5%, which exceeded the global average of 95%. In the health field, Bahrain mended the gap by 96%, which is identical to the value of the global average.
The report stated that these results reflect the advanced level achieved by the Kingdom of Bahrain in various fields at the Gulf level. For instance, in the field of economic participation and opportunities, the Kingdom of Bahrain came first at the Gulf level, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Besides, the kingdom ranked second in the Arab world after the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Kingdom of Bahrain maintained its advanced level in education by ranking first in the world in the indicators of net enrollment in secondary education and total enrollment in higher education after closing the gap. As for health and life, Bahrain moved up two ranks globally due to the improvement in the value of the life expectancy index.
The report indicated that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s progress in this field is due to the sustainability of work to bridge the gender gap in the wage index for similar jobs to 76.7%, compared to 74.3% in last year’s report. Consequently, the Kingdom of Bahrain jumped up in this index from the 21st place to the 16 internationally. In addition to that, the value of bridging the gap of the labour force participation rate index increased to 53.2% in the 2021 report.
Commenting on that, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), Hala Al Ansari, said the findings of the report of the World Economic Forum, Davos, confirm the relevance of national policies for gender balance in various fields and commitment of the state’s institutions to implementing the constitutional principles and activating the potentials of male and female citizen by including them in various development areas.
Al Ansari pointed out that the importance of the results stems, in particular, from the timing of their issuance and the period they focus on. She noted that while the indices of this year’s report have shown a clear regress in the performance of most of the countries in the world because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has affected women mostly in terms of economic participation, the report highlighted the importance of the measures taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain to confront the pandemic and curb its fallout. She added those measures have contributed to maintaining the levels of performance and gains, including the advanced presence of Bahraini women in the fields of economy, work, education, health…etc.
The SCW Secretary General affirmed the importance of the recommendations in the report regarding the need for countries to adopt recovery policies that take into account the needs of women by giving greater importance to promoting gender balance while designing plans to address the economic crisis. She emphasised the need to develop appropriate solutions and initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of women in line with the requirements of the next stage and the new skills required by the labour market. She expressed readiness of the Supreme Council for Women to provide all possible expertise and advice in this field.