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Aust stalls on closing economic gender gap

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016

Efforts to close the gender gap in the Australian economy have stalled over the past 10 years, the World Economic Forum says.

Australia ranks 46 out of 144 countries in the group's latest global gender gap index measuring women's earnings and job opportunities against that of men.

This reflects "the continued existence of a gender gap in income for Australia" and the rise of other nations on the measure since 2006, when Australia ranked 15th.

Australia's ranking reflects a score of 0.72 points, which was unchanged from a decade ago.

It now ranks under the US, on 45, and a long way below New Zealand, which cracked the top 10 countries at nine.

Overall, Iceland and Finland ranked highest on progress in equality in education, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

The report pointed to the importance of government investment in child care support for women, to boost workforce participation as well as to create jobs.

But the outlook for global economic gender equality isn't good.

Progess has slowed so much men and women may not reach parity for another 170 years, the forum said.

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