The gender gap – in health, education, economic opportunity and political representation – has been narrowing slowly but surely over the last decade, globally. This makes the data from the Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017 World Economic Forum even more worrying: the disparity has increased this year 2017 to 32% from 31.7% in 2016, the first setback reflected in the Report since 2006. The report stresses that it is necessary to integrate the talent of half of the population so that communities, countries and economies can prosper sustainably.

Given the steps backwards in economic equality, the Report estimates that, at current rates, it will take 217 years to reach workplace parity, when the previous year it estimated it would take 170 years, up to 47 fewer. The setback is due, to a large extent, to unfavorable developments in the large economies of the United States, India and China, and a general slowdown in the improvement ratios in terms of equality.

The report measures the equality indicators of 144 countries in the different areas: education, health, economic opportunities and political representation. Iceland is the country that is closest to achieving equality, and the Scandinavian countries continue to top the equality ranking, except for the notable presence of a developing country, Rwanda, in position 4. The Spanish State is in the position 24th, and has a 25% gender gap to achieve equality.