The Global Gender Gap Index,1 introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress.The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health- based criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time.The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. Themethodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.
There are three basic concepts underlying the Global Gender Gap Index. First, it focuses on measuring gaps
rather than levels. Second, it captures gaps in outcome variables rather than gaps in means or input variables. Third, it ranks countries according to gender equality rather than women’s empowerment.These three concepts are briefly outlined below.
The first part of the report presents the 2010 rankings, global patterns and regional performance and calls attention to notable country cases. It also provides an overview of the links between gender gaps and the economic performance of countries as well as information on the trends revealed by the Index in the five years that we have been producing it.
The Country Profiles contained in Part 2 of this Report give a more detailed picture of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each country’s performance compared with that of other nations.The first page of each profile contains detailed information on over 30 gender-related variables, presenting both the original data used to create the Index and other variables that reflect some of the legal and social factors affecting gender disparity in each coun- try.The second page of the profile, introduced for the first time this year, reveals the trends displayed over the last five years in the indicators used to produce the Global Gender Gap Index.