A couple of days ago, the World Economic Forum released its annual report on the Global Gender Gap. The World Economic Forum is a highly respected, not-for-profit organization that is legally registered as a foundation in Switzerland. When they release a major report, the world listens and the media coverage is extensive. Several newspapers writing about the report list the top five countries in the report (i.e. the countries with the smallest gender gap), and they are as follows:
- New Zealand
Feminists in Sweden will likely be outraged that we are not at the top of the list, and feminists in other Western countries will likely be complaining that their country is not like Scandinavia. However, instead of occupying our minds with these quibbles, why not have a closer look at the report to see what they actually have measured, and how these measurements have been performed? Early on in the report its author explains how the Gender Gap Index used in the report works:
Our aim is to focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen variables has declined, rather than whether women are Ã¢â‚¬Å“winningÃ¢â‚¬Âthe Ã¢â‚¬Å“battle of the sexesÃ¢â‚¬Â. Hence,the Index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men in particular variables.
In other words, every area where women are outperforming men is ignored, made invisible and left out of the report. What’s even worse is that the author of the report isn’t even ashamed of plainly stating this for everyone to see, as if it was some kind of achievement. What has the world come to when the author of a high-profile report is proud of “only” ignoring men, instead of actively labeling male discrimination a good thing which can give countries a higher score in the report?
It’s also interesting to note the four different categories that are used to determine the Gender Gap Index:
- Economic participation and opportunity
- Educational attainment
- Political empowerment
- Health and survival
If men’s situation hadn’t been actively ignored, then the author likely would have been forced to report that men do worse than women when it comes to health and survival, and in many countries around the world female students are dominating the colleges and universities. Furthermore, categories that are of great interest of men are actively excluded, for example quality of life indices, substance abuse, access to your children, number of close friends, etc. The chosen categories primarily measure the areas where men do better, and ignore the areas where men are struggling.
Unfortunately, this report is yet another sign that feminism has become a worldwide phenomenon that distorts our perception of how the genders are doing–both at a national and an international level.
Pelle Billing is an M.D. who writes and lectures about menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s issues and gender liberation beyond feminism.