AMMAN — The Kingdom has seen a substantial advancement in gender gap indicators related to pay equity, as well as women’s representation in political life.
These findings were announced in the World Economic Forum’s report “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerators 2020”.
“Jordan was able to close the gender gap by 62.3 per cent in the past 12 months,” the report said.
Pay equity saw a jump of 20 points, while women’s representation in the parliament reported a 42-point increase.
“The changes achieved by the Kingdom were a clear indication that the government is tirelessly working, under its wise leadership, to ensure gender balance by launching several initiatives that empower women,” the report noted.
Other steps adopted by the government, according to the report, include strengthening the work environment and ensuring equal opportunities for women in the private sector.
The report attributes the economic gender gap to a number of factors, including low levels of women in managerial or leadership positions, wage stagnation, labour force participation and income.
“Women have been hit by a triple whammy: First, they are more highly represented in many of the roles that have been hit hardest by automation, for example, retail and white-collar clerical roles,” the report stated.
Secondly, not enough women are entering professions — often but not exclusively technology-driven — where wage growth has been the most pronounced.
As a result, the report added, women in work too often find themselves in middle to low wage categories that have been stagnant since the financial crisis 10 years ago.
The third factor to “strongly limit” women’s workforce opportunities, according to the report, was the lack of care infrastructure and lack of access to capital.
“Women spend at least twice as much time providing care and in voluntary work in every country where data is available; and lack of access to capital prevents women from pursuing entrepreneurial activity, another key driver of income,” the report stated.
The Gender Gap Accelerator is designed to identify key economic gender gaps, develop public- and private-sector interventions for narrowing these gaps and commit relevant stakeholders from both sectors to a three-year action plan.
Central to these efforts will be engaging companies in the strong business case for advancing gender parity in their workforces and taking action on women’s participation, skills, wages and leadership, while the government drives new policies and initiatives and tracks progress.
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