Rwanda stands firm in WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2022
Rwanda continues to be among the 10 best performers of the Global Gender Gap Index, TOP AFRICA NEWS has examined the 2022 report.
Since its first inclusion in 2014, Rwanda (6th) has featured in the Top 10. This year, Rwanda improved its 2021 rank by one, and is the leader in both rank and score for Sub-Saharan Africa. On both Educational Attainment and Health and Survival, Rwanda registers its highest subindex scores: 0.96 and 0.974, respectively. Rwanda has made progress in 2022 by reducing its gender gap in tertiary education by 2.9 percentage points while maintaining parity in compulsory education.
On Health and Survival, Rwanda has maintained stable and slightly improving scores since 2015, increasing its rank by four places against countries unable to sustain prior progress. On Economic Participation and Opportunity, Rwanda is one of just three economies that registered parity in labour-force participation in 2022 (alongside Sierra Leone and Burundi).
It also improved its score in other elements of the subindex – such as women’s participation in professional and technical roles as well as legislator, senior officials and managerial roles – which has contributed to a rise in subindex rank of 15.
Finally, on Political Empowerment, Rwanda has achieved parity at ministerial and parliamentary levels, but fell by one place in the ranking, overtaken by countries where the share of women serving as head of state has increased.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the sixth-highest regional score and has bridged 67.9% of its gender gap
in 2022. It ranks ahead of Middle East and North Africa as well as South Asia. Among the countries included in the regional grouping, Rwanda, Namibia and South Africa rank highest, and Mali, Chad and
Democratic Republic of the Congo rank lowest.
Based on scores of 102 countries constantly covered since 2006, Sub-Saharan Africa registers its
highest gender gap score in sixteen years (67.7%), improving its performance from last year by 1.1
percentage points. While the region has steadily improved its overall performance, this year’s results reflect positive changes in relatively populated countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, where gender parity has increased along the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex.
At the present rate, it would take 98 years to close the gender gap in the region. Based on the constant set of countries included in the report, Sub-Saharan Africa reports an impressive 4.4 percentage point increase from last year’s gender gap score on Economic Participation and Opportunity, reaching a score of 68.4%. This is the fifth-highest regional score among the eight regions, ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.
The countries that lead parity scores within this dimension are Burundi, Kenya and Botswana, while Comoros, Mali and Senegal rank at the bottom. Improvement stems in part from Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Rwanda closing their gender gaps for workers in senior positions, as well as to an improvement in parity for estimated earned income in 18 of the region’s 36 countries. Finally, unlike in other regions, the gender gap in labour-force participation decreased significantly.
On Educational Attainment, Sub-Saharan Africa ranks lowest globally, with an enduring gender gap
of 85.3%. While the region registered a marginal improvement of 0.9 percentage points on the subindex score, there are persistent barriers that are keeping the region from achieving parity.
In compulsory education, only 23 of 36 countries have closed at least 97% of their gender gap in primary education. The level of parity drops to 17 countries having closed at least 95% of their gender gap in secondary education enrolment. At the same time, relatively populated countries show important improvements in scores. For example, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Tanzania have improved parity in tertiary
education. This results in a subindex ranking where Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia are the highestranked countries, with Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad at the bottom.
In terms of Health and Survival, Sub-Saharan Africa has closed 97.1% of its gender gap, the third highest regional score, just behind Latin America and the Caribbean and Central Asia. It counts 11 countries at full parity for healthy life expectancy, and all countries in the region have achieved gender parity in sex ratio at birth.
The level of parity in Political Empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa is 21.3%, which, based on the constant set of countries that have appeared in the index since 2006, also shows a substantive improvement of 3.3 percentage points from last year.
The subindex is headed by Rwanda, South Africa and Mozambique, with Sierra Leonne, Burkina
Faso and Nigeria towards the bottom. The increase in score derives from the growing share of women assuming parliamentary seats across the region. In 12 of the 36 countries, more women became
parliamentarians, including, by order of magnitude: Chad, Guinea, Cape Verde and Cote d’Ivoire. Women were also elected or appointed heads of state in the past year in Ethiopia, Togo, Tanzania and
Uganda, improving the corresponding indicator’s gender parity score.