Pakistan has been ranked the second worst country in the world for gender equality for a second year in a row.
The World Economic Forum’s global gender gap ranked Pakistan at a dismal 143 with a 0.556 score. Pakistan ranked just above Yemen among 144 countries, performing way behind India and Bangladesh which ranked at 87 and 72 respectively. War torn Syria performed better than Pakistan with a score of 142.
South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan secured 100th, 110th, 115th and 121st spots respectively.
Pakistan, however, performed better in Education Attainment with a score of 135, Health and Survival (124) and Political Empowerment (90). The report observed that there were 70 women parliamentarians in the country and 139 on ministerial positions.
The report featured progress made on the basis of equality between men and women in the aforementioned areas.
In the overall ranking, Iceland took the first spot, followed by Finland and Norway. Interestingly, the United States, with a rank of 45, saw a drop in its rankings owing to decrease on Economic Participation and Opportunity.
In December last year, a UN report said Pakistan ranked 121, better than India and Afghanistan in gender equality. Among South Asian countries, India ranked 130 and fared better than only Afghanistan which was at 152. While Bangladesh ranks 111 of 155.
Earlier on March 20, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said Pakistan was determined to work towards achieving the targets set for gender equality and empowerment of women by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In her opening remarks at a side event organised by the Pakistan Mission to the UN during the 60th session of the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW), she said that Pakistan believed that there was an urgent need to see how far we have come to fully achieving targets set by SDGs.
“Physical violence has been described as the most shameful of all rights violations and one of the most intractable to eliminate fully”, she asserted. “And we agree”, she added.