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Summary: The World Economic Forum released on Wednesday, November 1st, its 2017 Global Gender Gap Report in which Rwanda ranked fourth globally (from fifth last year) and first in Africa in closing gender gap. The report indicates that Rwanda continues its steady climb since first entering the Index and has now closed 82% of its overall gender gap. This is mostly due to continued progress on economic participation and opportunity subindex score, on the back of improved parity in estimated earned income and, particularly, a significant narrowing of gender gap in the number of women in ministerial positions. Besides, combined with being the country with the highest share of female parliamentarians in the world (61%), Rwanda advances five spots on the political empowerment subindex, where it now ranks third globally.
Note: The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity in four areas: 
  1. Economic participation and opportunity – salaries, participation and leadership
  2. Education – access to basic and higher levels of education
  3. Political empowerment – representation in decision-making structures
  4. Health and survival – life expectancy and sex ratio
Key highlights on Rwanda’s performance: 
  • No country in the world has
    fully closed its gender gap, but four out of the five Nordic
    countries and, for the first time this year, one country
    each from the Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the
    Caribbean and Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions —
    Rwanda, Nicaragua and Slovenia— have closed more than

    80% of theirs. (P8)

  • On the economic participation and opportunity subindex, 13 countries (two more than last year), including six from Sub-Saharan Africa—Burundi, Benin, Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia and Guinea—and two Nordic countries—Norway and Sweden—have closed more than 80% of their gap. (P8)
  • On the political empowerment subindex, only
    Iceland has closed more than 70% of its gender gap. While
    no other country has currently closed more than 60%
    of its gender gap, four countries—Nicaragua, Rwanda,
    Norway and Finland—have crossed the 50% threshold.


  • Rwanda has also fully closed its health and survival gender gap for the first time, although its educational attainment gender gap remains open. (P14)
  • Botswana and Lesotho have fully closed their educational attainment gender gaps and seven others—Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Mauritius, Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi—have fully closed their health and survival gender gaps. (P23)
  • The Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by high female
    labour force participation—with nine countries from the region
     in the global top 20 on this indicator, and
    Mozambique, Burundi, Malawi and Rwandademonstrating
    a higher representation of women in the labour force than
    men. (P23)
  • Rwanda consolidates its position as the region’s
    top performer, and the only country from the region ranked
    in the global top 10.


Full report (PDF) available here

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