The magnitude of national gender gaps is the combined result of various socioeconomic, policy and cultural variables. Governments thus have a leading role to play as the closure or continuation of these gaps is intrinsically connected to the framework of national policies in place. The Index does not seek to set priorities for countries but rather to provide a comprehensive set of data and a clear method for tracking gaps on critical indicators so that countries may set priorities within their own economic, political and cultural contexts. In addition, governments must align their efforts with those of business and civil society to foster growth that includes both men and women. The World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge on Gender Parity seeks to promote public-private cooperation to close gender gaps, based in part on the analytical tools provided by this Report as well as others.
It is our hope that this latest edition of the Report will serve as a call to action to spur change on an issue that is central to our future. Ultimately, it is through each individual adapting his or her beliefs and actions that change can occur. We call upon every reader of this Report to join these efforts.