This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the worldwide organization's list, which measures economic, educational, health and political disparities experienced between men and women in more than 100 countries around the world.
In the East Asia and Pacific region, New Zealand holds the top spot as the most gender equal country, placing 7th overall among the top 10 countries in the report. This serious gender imbalance at birth puts it at the bottom of the WEF's rankings in terms of women's health and survival. The highest-placed economy in our index is Tunisia, which ranks 119. "Gender inequality is the reality around the world, and we're seeing that in all aspects of women's lives", said Anna-Karin Jatfors, regional director for United Nations Women.
"One thing that is clear is that proactive action - in the form of clear and achievable policy prescriptions - is needed to address the gender gap". The report finds that women are paid on average 32% less than men. Also, among the 29 countries for which data are available, women on average spend twice as much time on housework and other unpaid activities than men. This a worrisome development for which there are a number of potential reasons. At the same time, women are under-represented in growing areas of employment that require STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills and knowledge. Another possible roadblock is that women may not have the support they need to go back to work because of childcare and eldercare responsibilities. The index measures women's opportunities in politics, education, health and the economy. In terms of political empowerment, the country was positioned at 97.
OPEC's oil-cut pledge is vague, but Saudi plans lend some credibility
North Sea Brent crude lost $2.41, or 4.0 percent, to a low of $57.20, a 14-month low, and last traded around $58.06, down $1.55. Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates a small inventory fall of 1.2 million barrels in the week ended December 7.
Chinese women lag the furthest behind men in the political arena, where the vanishing number of women in the National People's Congress and State Council - the Chinese parliament and cabinet respectively - put the country's political empowerment gap at 83.6%. Only in the case of the equal economic opportunities, the gap has been reduced, however, the proportion of women in the global labour force had declined.
"In an era when human skills are increasingly important and complementary to technology, the world can not afford to deprive itself of women's talent in sectors in which talent is already scarce", said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.
"Only 23% of the political gap - unchanged since a year ago - has been closed, and no country has yet fully closed political empowerment gaps", according to the report, which compared the number of political offices held by women and men. These include traditionally male-dominated industries such as manufacturing, hardware and networking as well as software and IT services, as well as traditionally female sectors such as non-profits, healthcare and education.