Australia has failed to narrow its gender gap in 2010, dropping three places on the World Economic Forum's gender gap index.
Nordic countries have once again topped the Global Gender Gap Report's Index, with Iceland demonstrating the greatest equality between men and women. Australia has fallen to 23rd place behind Mozambique and ahead of Cuba.
New Zealand stands well ahead of Australia on the gender equality stakes, coming in at 5th place just behind Sweden. The United States climbed 12 spots to make the top 20 for the first time, while France fell to 46th position due to fewer women in ministerial posts. The Phillipines set the example for Asia in 9th place, being the only Asian nation to rank in the top 15, while Pakistan, Chad and Yemen displayed the widest gaps between men and women in 2010.
"Low gender gaps are directly correlated with high economic competitiveness," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. "We still need to a true gender equality revolution, not only to mobilise a major pool of talent both in terms of volume and quality, but also to create a more compassionate value system within all our institutions."
The Global Gender Gap Report's index assesses 134 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations, measuring the size of the gender gaps in areas including economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment and healthy and survival.
The 2010 report brought together five years worth of data and demonstrated that over that period of time, 86 per cent of the 114 countries had narrowed their gender gaps, while 14 per cent had regressed.