Sri Lanka among top 20 in gender equality

Thursday, 14 October 2010 00:29 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka is among the top 20 in the world for gender equality according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2010 compiled by the World Economic Forum.

Ranking at 16th place, above all South Asian nations and second only to Philippines from the Asian region, Sri Lanka stands above developed countries such as United States, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and many other European countries.

Sri Lanka is ranked first in the world in the Health and Survival indicator, and 6th in the Political Empowerment indicator beating European countries such as UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium as well as the entire Asian region.

In the sub category of regions, Sri Lanka is distinctive for being the only South Asian country in the top 20 for the fourth consecutive year, the report states. Sri Lanka is ranked 3rd in the Asia Pacific region with New Zealand at the top, Philippines at number 2 and Australia at number 4.

 “Sri Lanka’s performance remains steady as it maintains the same rank as 2009. In addition to higher-than-average performance in education and health, Sri Lanka continues to hold a privileged position regarding political empowerment”, the report said.

The Global Gender Gap Index introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress.

The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health based criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time, the report said.

 “It’s very encouraging that more countries are becoming aware of why it’s important to reduce the gender gap and are starting to explore policies that may be needed,” Saadia Zahidi, Head of the Forum’s Women Leaders and Gender Parity programme said.

The report assesses life expectancy, salaries, access to high-skilled jobs, access to basic and higher level education, and whether women were represented in government and decision-making structures. The review, begun in 2006, looks at how countries divide resources and opportunities for men and women, regardless of the level of resources available.

The report was the result of collaboration between Zahidi; Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Centre for International Development at Harvard University; and Laura Tyson, professor of business administration and economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Please find the Global Gender Gap Report 2010 at:

SL ranks high in Global Hunger Index

Sri Lanka fared better than India and Pakistan in the Global Hunger Index released by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Sri Lanka was ranked 39th, ahead of India (67), Pakistan (52) and Nepal (56).  China, an emerging superpower, was ranked 9th.

The index rated 84 countries on the basis of three key indicators — prevalence of child malnutrition, rate of child mortality and the proportion of people who are calorie deficient.

 “In South Asia, the low nutritional, educational, and social status of women is among the major factors that contribute to a high prevalence of underweight in children under five,” the report said.

It also raises concern about the prevalence of poverty in South India, including India which has been achieving remarkable economic growths in recent years.

 “The economic performance and hunger levels are inversely correlated. In South and South East Asia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Timor-Leste are among countries with hunger levels considerably higher than their gross national income per capita,” the IFPRI report said.

“The 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI) shows some improvement over the 1990

GHI, falling from 19.8 points to 15.1 or by almost one-quarter. The index for hunger in the world, however, remains serious,” it noted.

In 2009, on the heels of a global food price crisis and in the midst of recession, the number of undernourished people surpassed one billion, although recent estimates by the UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation suggest that the number will have dropped to 925 million in 2010.