The US have slipped as a progressive nation for women – moving from 23rd place to 45th place this year in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report.

The report, established in 2006, compares the national, annual average income for men and women as one measure of equality. The US’s slip perhaps can be down to a chance in how the WEF recorded income; prior to this year, they measured incomes up to and including $40,000 as they believed that income above $40,000 doesn’t have a meaningful impact on someone’s quality of life. They now believe, however, that this threshold should be $75,000. Mathematics and Statistics students should consider how changes in the collection of data allow us to make meaningful year-by-year comparisons.

The fall of the US isn’t solely down to the change in measurement, however; women’s participation in the labour force has decrease, and “is stagnating among legislators, senior officials and managers.” HSPS and PPE applicants should consider how useful income is as a measure of gender equality.

Reaching the top of the table were the Nordic countries of Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, which plays into the general conception of these countries as liberal and progressive. Geography students should consider perhaps the more surprising fifth place entry, Rwanda, and why they might have pay parity.

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