Korea Flounders Near Bottom in Gender Equality

      October 13, 2010 11:20

      Korea climbed 11 notches on the World Economic Forum's gender gap index as an increasing number of women hold senior government posts, but the country still languishes near the bottom among 134 countries surveyed. The reason is the low proportion of women in the entire workforce and big differences in salaries between men and women.

      In the Global Gender Gap Report released Tuesday by the Swiss-based WEF, Korea ranked 104th overall, up from 115 last year. By category it ranked 111th in employment, 100th in education, 79th in health, and 86th in politics. Korean women earn only half the money of their male counterparts, and only 11 percent of lawmakers, high-ranking officials or executives were women.

      Iceland had the greatest gender equality, topping the list for the second year running. Nordic nations generally ranked high with Finland in second place followed by Norway and Sweden.

      France's ranking dropped by the largest margin from 18th to 46th due to a significant decrease in the number of high-ranking female officials in the past year, while the U.S. saw its ranking jump from 31st to 19th.

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