Skip links
World Economic Forum report on gender gap

Gender gap takes 132 years to close 30 years lost in pandemic

The global gender gap is 68.1% and it will take 132 years to reach full parity. This is a slight four-year improvement compared to the 2021 estimate (136 years). However, it does not compensate for the generational loss during the pandemic 2020 and 2021 when the gender gap was set to close within 100 years. This means the pandemic meant a loss of more than 30 years. The data is from the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Index comprising 146 countries.

Taking into account graduates from all fields, the percentage of women graduates in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is 1.7%, compared to 8.2% of men graduates. In Engineering and Manufacturing the same figures are 24.6% for men and 6.6% for women.

“More women than ever are skilling, re-skilling and upskilling online. Furthermore, gender gaps are substantially smaller in online enrolment than in traditional education.”


In ICT, for example, gender parity increased in online training between 2019 and 2021. However, enrolment behaviour shows that men and women’s skilling preferences continue to respond to traditional patterns, creating skilling gender gaps for both men and women.

Health and Survival gender gap has closed by 95.8%, Educational Attainment by 94.4%, Economic Participation and Opportunity by 60.3% and Political Empowerment by 22%.

Although no country has yet achieved full gender parity, the top 10 economies have closed at least 80% of their gender gaps, with Iceland (90.8%) leading the global ranking.


Iceland remains the only economy to have closed more than 90% of its gender gap. Other Scandinavian countries such as Finland (86%), Norway (84.5%) and Sweden (82.2%) feature in the top 5 together with New Zealand (84.1%).  Additional European countries such as Ireland (80.4%) and Germany (80.1%) are among the top 10.

Sub-Saharan African countries Rwanda (81.1%) and Namibia (80.7%), along with one Latin American country, Nicaragua (81%), also take positions in the top 10. Nicaragua and Germany are the new entrants in the top 10 in 2022, while Lithuania (79.9%,11th) and Switzerland (79.5%, 13th) drop out this year.

At the current rates of progress, it will take 155 years to close the Political Empowerment gender gap, 151 years for the Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap, and 22 years for the Educational Attainment gender gap.

The time to close the Health and Survival gender gap remains undefined as its progress to parity has stalled, the report notes.


North America leads all regions, having closed 76.9% of its gender gap. It is closely followed by Europe, which has closed 76.6% of its gap. In third place is Latin America and the Caribbean, having bridged 72.6% of its gender gap. Central Asia, along with East Asia and the Pacific, are towards the middle, at 69.1% and 69%, respectively, progress towards parity. In sixth spot, Sub-Saharan Africa stands at 67.8%. Further down in the ranking and trailing over four percentage points behind Sub-Saharan Africa, is the Middle East and North Africa, which has closed 63.4% of its gender gap. Lastly, South Asia reports the lowest performance, having closed 62.4% of its gender gap in 2022.


  • North America is the most advanced region in terms of closing the gender gap. The population-weighted average score for the region is 76.9%, which reduces the number of years it will take to close the gap from 62 to 59 years. The improvements are due to a slight increase since last year in the gender gap score of the USA as well as a stable score in Canada.
  • Europe has the second-highest level of gender parity, currently standing at 76.6%. Based on the constant set of 102 countries covered since 2006, the region has a 60-year wait to close the gap. Iceland, Finland and Norway hold the topmost ranks in the world and in the region.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean ranks third of all regions, after North America and Europe. The region has bridged 72.6% of its gender gap. Based on the current pace of progress, Latin America and the Caribbean will close the gap in 67 years. However, within the region, only six of the 22 countries indexed in this edition improved their gender gap score by at least one percentage point since last year.
  • In Central Asia, overall progress in closing the gender gap is unchanged from the last edition, at 69.1%. At this pace, it would take 152 years to close the regional gender gap. In 2022, Central Asia reports the fourth-highest regional score out of the eight regions, just after North America, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • East Asia and the Pacific has closed 69% of its gender gap, marginally increasing its regional performance over the 2021 edition, with 13 of 19 countries improving their score. At this pace, the region will need 168 years to close the gender gap. However, within the region, there are important differences in countries’ progress.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the sixth-highest regional score and has bridged 68.7% of its gender gap. It ranks ahead of Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. The region registers its highest gender gap score in 16 years. At the present rate it would take 98 years to close the gender gap in the region.
  • With an average population-weighted score of 63.4%, Middle East and North Africa has the second-largest gender gap yet to close, after South Asia. The region’s progress remains similar to the last edition, which gives Middle East and North Africa a timeframe to close the gap of 115 years.
  • Among the eight regions covered in the report, South Asia ranks the lowest, with only 62.3% of the gender gap closed in 2022. This lack of progress since the last edition extends the wait to close the gender gap to 197 years, due to a broad stagnation in gender parity scores across most countries in the region. Bangladesh and Nepal lead regional performance with over 69% of their gender gaps closed.


  • Global gender parity for labour-force participation has been slowly declining since 2009. However, the trend was exacerbated in 2020, when gender parity scores decreased precipitously over two consecutive editions. As a result, in 2022, gender parity in the labour force stands at 62.9%, the lowest level registered since the index was first compiled. Among workers who remained in the labour force, unemployment rates increased and and has remained consistently higher for women.
  • The disproportionately negative labour market impact of the pandemic can be explained partly through the sectoral composition of the shock and partly through the amount of care work that fell on women as childcare facilities and schools were closed. Based on an analysis of 2019 data from 33 countries, representing 54% of the global working-age population, men’s share of time spent in unpaid work as a proportion spent in total work was 19%, while for women this was 55%. “With rising childcare costs, there is a high risk that an asymmetric demand to provide unpaid care work will continue to be imposed on women”, the report says.


  • The share of women hired into leadership roles has seen a steady increase, from 33.3% in 2016 to 36.9% in 2022. Only select industries have levels near gender parity in leadership, such as Non-Governmental and Membership Organizations (47%), Education (46%), and Personal Services and Wellbeing (45%). At the other end of the range are Energy (20%), Manufacturing (19%) and Infrastructure (16%). While the share of women in leadership has been increasing over time, women have not been hired at equal rates across industries. On average, more women have been hired into leadership in industries where women were already highly represented.
  • Of all female heads of state globally, the longest serving ones have presided over Germany for 16.1 years, Iceland for 16 years, Dominica for 14.9 years and Ireland for 14 years. The global average share of women in ministerial positions nearly doubled between 2006 and 2022, increasing from 9.9% to 16.1%. Similarly, the global average share of women in parliament rose from 14.9% to 22.9%.


  • The most salient factors contributing to gender-based wealth inequality are gender pay gaps, unequal career progression trajectories, gender gaps in financial literacy, and life events. For frontline operational roles, the overall gender wealth gap amounts to 11%; for professional and technical type roles, the gender wealth gap nearly triples to 31%; and for senior expert and leadership roles it expands further to 38%.
  • Between 2021 and 2022, reported stress was 4% higher in women than in men. “This adds to a growing global health burden of mental and emotional disorders, which is disproportionately affecting women’s health and well-being”, the report says.





Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.