Here's How Many Years It Would Take To Achieve Gender Parity Globally

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2024 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), women all over the world might have to wait over 10 decades to achieve gender parity in education, political empowerment and economic opportunities.

Kalyani Ganesan
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According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report 2024 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on June 12, women worldwide might have to wait over 134 years to achieve gender equality in different parts of society. The report, which assesses the quality across various sectors such as politics, economics, health, education, etc., stated that the overall gender gap closed only by a mere 0.1% in comparison to the previous year. 


Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum stated, "Despite some bright spots, the slow and incremental gains highlighted in this year's report underscore the urgent need for a renewed global commitment to achieving gender parity, particularly in economic and political spheres. We cannot wait until 2158 for parity. The time for decisive action is now."

WEF Gender Parity Report

According to the  Global Gender Gap Report 2023, the gender gap had closed by 0.3% in 2023 as compared to the previous year. However, in 2024, the progress has been even more negligible. While half of the economies included in the Global Gender Gap Index made incremental progress, significant disparities remain. 

With over 60 countries going to the polls this year, the latest WEF report throws light on the representation of women in the political sphere, be it leadership or vote count. The report reveals that improvement in the political participation of women has the most impact as it is where the gap is largest, with top-level positions remaining largely inaccessible for women globally.

The meagre narrowing of the gender gap is mostly driven by positive shifts in the economic participation and opportunity sub-index (+0.6 percentage points), while political empowerment and health and survival edged forward slightly and educational attainment saw a small decrease. The WEF also attained LinkedIn data to assess women's leadership across industries.

How Many Years To Close Gender Gap?


The World Economic Forum stated that according to its 2024 Gender Gap Index, the world would have to wait about 134 years to achieve gender parity. The report studied gender participation across these spheres: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.

With the evolving pace of each sphere affecting their respective timelines to parity, results from this year have reportedly extended the wait for parity. Here is how long it would take to close the gender gap across each subindex:

  • Educational Attainment to 20 years (gone up by 4 years from 2023)
  • Political Empowerment to 169 years (+7 years from 2023)
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity to 152 years (come down by 17 years from 2023).
  • The time to close the Health and Survival gender gap remains undefined, according to WEF.

146 Countries Assessed: How India Performed

The World Economic Forum studied 146 for the Gender Gap Report 2024. Among these, the Forum found that the Health and Survival gender gap worldwide has closed by 96%, the Educational Attainment gap by 94.9%, the Economic Participation and Opportunity gap by 60.5%, and the Political Empowerment gap by 22.5%.

Iceland topped the Gender Gap Index ranking with 93.5% of female participation across all spheres. This country has consistently been at the top of the list for about a decade, with over 90% of its gender gap closed. It is to be noted that Iceland elected a businesswoman, Halla Tomasdottir, as its President in June 2024.


gender gap

No South Asian country has been able to make it to the top 10 countries with the highest gender parity. When studied according to different regions, South Asia ranks seventh with a score of 63.7%. With Bangladesh, followed by Nepal, at the top, the region particularly struggles with economic participation and political empowerment.

Six out of the seven economies in the region rank below the top 100 and only six in the region have closed two-thirds of their gender gap. Educational Attainment scores 94.5%, having progressed by +13.4 percentage points since 2006, but retains substantive gender gaps in literacy and education, notably in Pakistan and Nepal.

Health and Survival in South Asia remains stable at 95.4%, while Political Empowerment sees a slight 0.7-point decline from 2023 to 26%, reflecting gender imbalances in ministerial and parliamentary representation across the region. By closing 64.1% of its gender gap in 2024, India ranks 129th on the gender parity index, a drop of two places from 2023.

The Gender Gap 2024 report shows that only 39.8% of gender parity in educational attainment, as compared to 36.7% in the previous year. In the sphere of Economic Participation and Opportunity, India has one of the lowest ranks across the world with a gender parity rank of 142 and a score of 0.398. India ranks fifth in gender parity in South Asia.

While there were positive changes concerning equality in wage and income, the representation of women in senior positions and technical roles saw a slight decrease compared to last year, which posed a challenge for the country in terms of economic empowerment. In politics, India scores within the top 10 on the head-of-state indicator (40.7%).


However, the country's scores for women’s representation at the federal level, in ministerial positions (6.9%) and in parliament (17.2%), remain relatively low. With regard to health and survival, India witnessed an improvement of 1.9 per cent in the sex ratio at birth, thus attaining 92.7 per cent equality.