By Andy Chukwu
The World Economic Forum, in its latest report, has revealed that Nigeria has recorded a marginal improvement in gender equality.
In the 2020 report, released last week, Nigeria rose was 128 out of 153 countries, Nigeria was ranked 133 among 149 countries surveyed for gender gap reduction by WEF in 2018.
The report said Nigeria was amongst the countries with the most improved performance on economic participation and opportunity gender parity.
In Africa, Cape Verde, Mali, and Sierra Leone are also in the most improved category.
“Nigeria closed 73.8% of its economic participation and opportunity gender gap to date, it ranks 38th globally,” the report said.
This means the gap between men and women who are actively participating in the labour force is closing up.
However, despite Nigeria’s improvement, literacy rates are low and “skewed in the favor of men”, it said.
When compared to other countries in the index, the participation of women in formal education is relatively low in Nigeria.
“58% of girls are in primary school, while 47% of that percentage go to secondary school, and only 8.3% go to university,” the WEF report said.
Nigeria also ranks low in political empowerment, scoring 149 out of 153. Only 3.4% of women in Nigeria are parliamentarians and 8% are ministers.
From the WEF ranking, Nigeria is ahead of 10 other African countries.
They are Burkina Faso (129), Algeria (132), Egypt (134), Gambia (136), Mali (139), Togo (140), Mauritania (141), Cote d’Ivoire (142), Morocco (143), Chad (147), and Democratic Republic of Congo (149).
Those who performed ahead of Nigeria are Rwanda (9), South Africa (17), Burundi (32), Zambia (45), Zimbabwe (47), and Ghana (107).
The 10 most gender-equal countries in the world are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda and Germany.
The WEF said based on this year’s report “gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years”, meaning that “none of us, and not likely will many of our children see gender parity.”