Two hundred and seventeen years.
That’s how long it will take to achieve gender parity across the world, according to the Global Gender Gap Report.
The report is based on four key areas: Economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
Unfortunately progress is going backwards slightly.
The Gap Report predicts the overall gender gap can be closed in 61 years in western Europe, 62 years in South Asia, 79 years in Latin America and the Caribbean, 102 years in sub-Saharan Africa, 128 years in eastern Europe and central Asia, 157 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 161 years in East Asia and the Pacific (Australia is in this group) and 168 years in North America.
In Australia or educational attainment gap is considered closed and the health and survival not far behind. However, we have a lot of work to do relating to economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment. This isn’t a surprise.
Women in Australia are doing OK. Yes, the glass ceiling still exists. Workplaces have targets to improve the percentage of women in leadership positions.
A day like International Women’s Day comes with harsh critiques. Many people argue that equality exists and where is the International Men’s Day?
Privilege is a hard concept to grasp when it is somewhat natural and exists at a subconscious level. There is true equality and perceived equality.
In an article in Fortune magazine, Warren Buffett claimed women were the key to a country’s prosperity.
He says the majority of America’s growth came from using only about 50 per cent of its talent – men.
“For most of our history, women — whatever their abilities — have been relegated to the sidelines,” Buffett wrote. “Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem.”
“We’ve seen what we can be accomplished when we use 50 per cent of our human capacity. If you visualise what 100 per cent can do, you’ll join me as an unbridled optimist about America’s future.”
“So, my fellow males, what’s in this for us?”
“If obvious benefits flow from helping the male component of the work force achieve its potential, why in the world wouldn’t you want to include its counterpart?”