S. Korea ranked 115th among 149 countries in gender gap report: WEF

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The forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2018 said South Korea's gender gap index was 0.657, compared with 0.673 of China and 0.662 of Japan, which ranked 103rd and 110th, respectively.

The UAE has been ranked as the top country in the Middle East and North Africa for wage equality, according to a new report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Closing the gender gap isn't only about fairness - it's also about boosting countries' economic productivity and enhancing global political stability, according to the World Economic Forum.

Humanity still has a long way to go in the fight for gender equality. This is just one of the initiatives that have helped the nation close 82% of its gender gap.

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In his preface to the report, the founder and executive chairman of WEF, Klaus Schwab, said however that it was critical that men and women participate on an equal footing in the current process of deep societal and economic transformation. "Proactive measures that support gender parity and social inclusion and address historical imbalances are therefore essential for the health of the global economy as well as for the good of society as a whole".

The figures are a tiny improvement from last year's results, where the gap between the achievements and wellbeing of men and women widened for the first time in more than a decade.

Narrowing the economic gender gap is especially important in "high-growth areas such as AI and computing", as "these will become ever more prevalent in all industries in the future".

The analysis, which also uses data from professional networking firm LinkedIn, shows that women working in artificial intelligence are less likely than men to be in high-profile positions. Just 18 percent of ministers and 24 percent of parliamentarians globally are women. This is largely due to a narrower income gap between men and women, which stands at almost 51 per cent in 2018, and the number of women in leadership roles, which stands at 34 per cent globally.

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In business, only 34% of women hold managerial positions in the assessed countries, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan identified as the worst performing with less than 7%.

"More than ever, societies can not afford to lose out on the skills, ideas and perspectives of half of humanity", said Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the WEF.

This year's report suggests we're seeing a decline of women represented in politics.

Iceland topped the rankings for the 10th straight year, followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland. Despite its top performance, the country has seen a slight regression on economic participation and opportunity after an increased gender gap in the number of women legislators, senior officials and managers.

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