Woman in front of moving train

By Tarryn Landman

With International Women’s Day happening later this week, it seems fitting to share a few recent studies on gender inequality and the value of women’s work around the world.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released the 10th edition of its Global Gender Gap Report late last year. The report tracks global gender-based disparities over time in four areas: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. Of the 145 countries included in the 2015 edition, Canada ranked 30th and the United States 28th, compared to 14th and 23rd respectively out of 115 countries in 2006.

A decade of data offers some fascinating insights into the progress, or lack thereof, in closing these gaps. According to the report, the global economic gap has closed just 3% in the past ten years. At that rate of progress, it will take 118 years to close completely. Check out the Gender Gap Calculator to find out how old you’ll be at that point and to get a summary of your country’s gender gaps and progress towards closing them. The report also includes analysis of trends, provides an economic case for gender equality, and shares implications for business practices and public policy. The WEF argues that women have an important role to play in the workforce as we look for ways to navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

For those looking for more on how to accelerate gender parity, EY’s Who Holds the Key to Closing the Skills Gap?  report explores five actions that could help to foster equality and close global skills gaps. Three of these actions are aligned with different stages in women’s careers (entrant, express, and experienced) and two are aligned with key forces that influence women’s careers (digital technology and the media). A new report from Oxfam Canada and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives also provides policy recommendations for building more equitable economic and political systems.

This post first appeared in TINAN 69. Subscribe to TINAN for the latest economic development news and resources.