Portugal rose 13 places in the ‘ranking’ of equality between men and women established annually by the World Economic Forum (FEM), being 22nd in 156 countries, in a year of global regression in the progress achieved, due to the health crisis.
Iceland leads the ranking of the most even countries for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden, according to the annual report of the World Economic Forum, released today.
Portugal climbed 13 places, ranking now in 22nd position in the 156 countries analyzed, after having occupied 35th place in the previous classification.
The report highlights Portugal as one of the countries with significant progress, showing “sustained progress in the percentage of women in Parliament”, which is 40% – an increase over the previous edition, when that percentage was 35.6% -, and in government positions (42.1%, compared to 29.4% in the previous edition).
The country is now 26th in terms of the emancipation of women in politics.
According to the study, carried out since 2006, the gap between men and women has widened especially in this area. Despite indicating progress in more than half of the 156 countries analyzed, including in Portugal, women occupy only 26.1% of parliamentary seats and 22.6% of government positions worldwide.
If the current trajectory is maintained, parity in political positions will only be achieved in 145.5 years from now, against 95 years in the previous edition, published at the end of 2019.
Portugal also “improved the presence of women in management positions”, with 37.1% (7.6% more than in the previous study).
The country is 38th in economic participation and opportunity (it was 46th in the previous report), obtaining the worst results in access to education, where it is 76th (lowering three positions) and health (73rd – it was 50. In the last study).
At the global level, the study, which is in its 15th edition, highlights the regression in women’s rights caused by the health crisis, pointing out that it will take 135.6 years before reaching economic, political and health parity, more 36 than before the pandemic.
“The pandemic has had a fundamental impact on equality between men and women, both in the workplace and at home, pushing back years of progress,” Saadia Zahidi, a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum, said in a statement.
The repercussions of the health crisis were more severe for women, those hardest hit by unemployment, in part because they are more represented in sectors linked to consumption, among those most affected by confinement measures.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), job losses for women reached 5% in 2020, against 3.9% for men, the study recalls.
The pandemic has also “disproportionately” aggravated the number of hours women spend on domestic work, in addition to employment.
The search for a new job is also slower for women, with the chances of obtaining positions of leadership to be reduced even more than before the pandemic, according to the study, which in this case indicates a two-year regression in relation to the progress made until here.
The publication of the 15th edition was delayed due to the health crisis, with the study’s authors indicating that the data collected in 2021 do not fully reflect the impact of the pandemic on women.