Pakistan has been ranked as the second-worst country in terms of gender parity, placed 145 out of 146 states, in the latest Global Gender Gap Report released by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Dawn reported.
The report ranks 146 countries, of which the top five are Iceland, Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden, while the five worst ones are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran and Chad.
According to the report, the global gender gap has been closed by 68.1 per cent in 2022.
"At the current rate, it will take 132 years to reach full parity. This represents a slight four-year improvement compared to the 2021 estimate (136 years to parity)."
However, the report noted that in the trends leading up to 2020, the gender gap was set to close within 100 years.
Pakistan was among the five countries with a gender gap greater than 5 per cent, with the other countries being Qatar, Azerbaijan, China and India, Dawn reported.
The report stated that Pakistan has closed 56.4 per cent of the gender gap in 2022 -- the highest overall level of parity the country has posted since the report launched in 2006.
Pakistan was also ranked as the second-worst country in the region. According to the report, Bangladesh, which is ranked 71 globally, is the top country in the region, followed by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dawn reported.
South Asia has the widest gender gap on the economic participation and opportunity subindex, having closed only 35.7 per cent of it, the report stated. While the overall score improved compared to last year, "considerable country divergences" downgraded South Asia's ranking among regions.
"Highly populated countries are for the most part driving variation within this subindex. For example, increases in the share of women in professional and technical roles were most notable in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. On the other hand, the shares in Iran, Pakistan and Maldives regressed, with less impact on overall regional performance."
South Asia has one of the lowest regional gender parity scores for the health and survival subindex, at 94.2 per cent, the report stated.
"In this subindex, only Sri Lanka has closed its gender gap, while Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are among the worst-performing countries globally.
South Asia has the fourth-highest regional performance on the political empowerment subindex, having achieved 26.3 per cent of gender parity. The movement stems in part from the reduction of gender gap scores in countries where women's share of years in political leadership for the past 50 years is reduced, for example in India, according to the report, Dawn reported.