Qatar’s Gender Gap is Among the Largest in the World
A recent study measured the ability of a country to achieve its full potential from both men and women.
The Gender Progress Index (GPI) measures the ability of a country to achieve its full potential from both men and women.
Due to cultural, legal and social impediments, there are still many countries in the world that hinder women from achieving their potential. This not only negatively affects women, but also men and subsequently, the country as a whole. A society thrives and moves forward when all of its people are given the opportunities to achieve more.
According to the Gender Progress Index by business school INSEAD, Qatar ranked in the bottom five, at 117 out of 122 countries evaluated. That makes Qatar one of the most unequal societies in the world.
It is worse off than all of the GCC countries. Oman placed 113, Saudi Arabia 110, Bahrain 103, Kuwait 99 and the highest ranked Gulf nation was UAE in 85th place.
A significant factor that contributed to such a low score was due to the lack of female political involvement and lack of men pursuing higher education.
How are they evaluated
Unlike the annual WEF’s Global Gender Gap report, this index looks at five different aspects: education, health, labour, political involvement and society. There are a total of 20 indicators within these groups.
Some of those indicators include school years, obesity rates, labour participation, women in parliament and population.
The INSEAD index is different mainly as it considers the country’s progress against inequality. This approach means that the gaps are measured for both men and women and takes into account the trade-off between the gaps and the overall development levels.
This is why there are different country rankings between this index and the WEF’s. However, Qatar performed poorly on both, ranking 119 out of 144 countries in the 216 WEF Gender Gap Index.
The politics category was the worst not out of the five categories for Qatar, but also the worst amongst the politics category out of all the countries listed.
The index took into account the number of women who are part of the Central Municipal Council, Cabinet and corporate boards.
There is only one woman in the Cabinet and two women on the Central Municipal Council.
Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health. Photo: ahs.hamad.qa
In education, there are more women pursuing a university education, however males not so much, which lowered the score. Since the index is looking at both ends of the gap, men underachieving is also considered.
In health, Qatar had high rates of obesity and tobacco consumption.
In society, the country has a very high ratio of men compared to women. This is an issue because gender imbalances are challenging to society