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Global Economy

Same work, same money? – Germany as of 2009

In a gender equality ranking, Germany has reached its highest value since the start of the analysis 16 years ago. In the "Gender Gap Report" 2022 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Foundation, Germany came 10th out of 146 in an international comparison – and thus one place higher than last year. The WEF looks at the areas of business, education, health and politics.

The US was ranked 27th, China 102nd and Japan 116th. Last place went to Afghanistan.

Many points for political participation

According to the report, one reason for Germany's high ranking is the growing political participation of women in this country – according to the WEF, there has been a particular jolt in this area. This is mainly due to the former Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brought Germany many points through her long term in office, as the report shows. The number of years that a country has been governed by a female head of government is included in the index. In an international comparison, Germany is also in a good position in terms of the proportion of women in management positions – the value is the fourth highest in Europe in the last 50 years, said a WEF spokesman.

In the "Education" category, the study stated that Germany had closed the justice gap by almost 98 percent. Germany still ranks 81st in this category, as other countries did better in some cases.

For example, life expectancy is taken into account for the "health and survival" category. According to the report, there is 97 percent equal opportunity here.

Falling behind in the area of "Economic Participation".

On the other hand, it looked much worse in the subcategory "economic participation". It examines, for example, whether women and men earn the same amount of money for the same work and how many women are in managerial positions. Germany has fallen back to the level of 2009 in this area, said the spokesman.

Corona threw back the prospect of equality

Seen from a global perspective, the forecasts in the report seem rather bleak: the coronavirus pandemic, for example, has thrown back the prospect of gender equality by a generation, the WEF reported. One of the reasons for this is that proportionally more women lost their jobs than men during the pandemic. Inequality in the labor market was greater than at any time since the surveys began in 2006. This in turn is also due to the fact that care work, such as looking after children, was still largely the task of women when kindergartens and schools were closed. The pandemic has pushed women back into traditional role models.

Even before the pandemic, there was great inequality between women and men in this area: Before the pandemic, unpaid work accounted for 19 percent of the total working time for men, but for women it was 55 percent.

Rising costs will affect women in particular

And even looking to the future, the picture for rapid change towards full equality around the world is bleak: according to the report, the rising cost of living will hit women in particular. The crisis due to rising food and fuel prices, layoffs during the corona epidemic and insufficient care for the elderly and children, for example, hit women disproportionately, according to a report.

Report: Women and men equal in 132 years

If development continues as slowly as before, it will take another 132 years before the gap between the sexes is closed worldwide. In the last report there were still 136.

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