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WEF: Bangladesh’s labour force participation gender gap still widening

  • Published at 10:13 pm December 19th, 2018
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In these roles, 89.3% of workforce constitutes of males while only 10.7% are female

Bangladesh’s gender gap in terms of labour force participation is widening, despite the country retaining second place in Asia on the World Economic Forum (WEF) gender gap index.

WEF stated this in a report titled “The Global Gender Gap Report 2018”, published  on Monday. 

"Bangladesh consolidates its position as the region's top performer and breaks into the global Index top 5 on the Political Empowerment subindex this year, recording progress on closing its political gender gap, despite a widening gender gap in terms of labour force participation," the report said.

The report further explained that Bangladesh “is followed by Sri Lanka, which rises several ranks due to improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, specifically narrowing its gender gap on labour force participation”. 

Bangladesh ranked 133rd in the Economic Participation and Opportunity index with a score of 0.441 this year, down from 129 with a score of 0.465 in the previous year. 

In terms of labour force participation, Bangladesh’s rank dropped down from 124 in 2017 to 135 in 2018.

According to global gender gap reports of 2017 and 2018, Bangladesh has also gone down in rankings for generating equal opportunities for legislators, senior officials, and managerial roles this year compared to the previous one. While the country ranked 113th with a score of 0.152 last year, this year Bangladesh ranked 135th with a score of 0.120 in generating opportunities for these roles.

In these roles, 89.3% of workforce constitutes of males while only 10.7% are female.

In terms of providing equal opportunities for professional and technical workers, the country also dropped down from 116 in 2017 to 130 in 2018. While only 29.7% professional and technical workers constitute of females, the remaining 70.3% are males.

This year, the country slipped only one score to the 48th position among 149 countries in the world—but still ahead of all other countries in the continent except the Philippines—according to the report.

“Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are the top-ranked countries in the region, having closed just over 72% and nearly 68% of their overall gender gap, respectively, while the lowest-ranked countries are Bhutan and Pakistan, having closed just under 64% and 55% of their overall gender gap,” the report added.

The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 149 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity; Educational Attainment; Health and Survival; and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year's edition studies skills gender gaps related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).