The US election is dominating news coverage around the world, in part because of the gender-related themes it has surfaced. In just two short weeks, the US might elect its first female head of government. If so, it would join 13 other countries in the world – Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, and the United Kingdom – that are currently headed by a female leader. Out of the 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index this year, only 65 have ever had a woman in the country’s top job in the last half century.
But political empowerment for women is about more than just about one person. It also includes representation in ministerial roles, national legislatures and local governments. Globally, women hold on average only 24% of the ministerial positions that men hold, and only 27% of the parliamentary positions. It’s a low bar, but one that the United States misses, with only 1 in 5 members of Congress and only 1 in 4 cabinet members women. As an emblem of democracy around the world, and a byword for innovative, economic power, this is an imbalance that poses considerable challenges to the future prosperity of the nation.
SOURCE: News Now/ World Economic Forum