Afghanistan worst among 146 countries surveyed for gender equality: WEF


Revealing a grim picture of the state of women in Afghanistan, a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked Afghanistan as the worst country in terms of gender parity.

In the Global Gender Gap Index which was released by WEF on Wednesday, Afghanistan is placed in the last spot in a survey of 146 countries, Khaama Press reported.


Economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment were the four parameters considered in the preparation of the index of the current state and evolution of gender parity

It assesses the gender gap around the world and provides a robust cross-country analysis. A large constant sample for time series was analysed as 102 countries have been represented in every edition of the index since 2006.

According to the report, the parity witnessed an increase this year because women are earning 2 per cent more on average than in 2021 while men are earning 1.8 per cent less on average than in 2021.

"Twenty-eight countries have closed less than 50 per cent of the gender gap on this indicator," the report added.

The lowest levels of parity were recorded in Iran (16 per cent), Afghanistan (18per cent) and Algeria (18 per cent).

"Overall, Sub-Saharan African and the Middle East and North Africa have the lowest levels of income parity, at approximately 23 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively," local media reported citing the report.

"The current government considers all rights of women in Islamic regulation. The women are working in various fields because the government should include women, based on necessity," said Taliban's deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi while defying the report.

"If such restrictions on women continue, not only the women will be removed from the Afghan society, but this will also affect the international community," local media reported citing women's right defender Zarqa Yaftali.

"We are expecting the Islamic Emirate to take steps to ensure women's rights and include women in the government," women's rights activist Mariam Maroof said.

While Afghanistan is the worst country in terms of gender parity, Pakistan ranked second-worst in a survey of 146 countries.

As per the statistics, Pakistan has 107 million women and the country closed at 56.4 per cent in the report's gender gap index. The report observed, "this is the highest overall level of parity Pakistan has posted" since the launch of the global gender gap report by WEF in 2006.


Pakistan's ranking in other parameters also exposes the country's sorry state of affairs. The country ranked 145th in terms of economic participation and opportunity; 135th in educational attainment; 143rd in health and survival; and 95th in political empowerment.