San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

C.R. Drops Four Spots On Gender Gap Report

Costa Rica ranks 32nd on a recent report measuring gender equality among 130 countries across the globe.

Although Costa Rica has narrowed the gender gap slightly in the past year, it dropped four spots on the World Economic Forum’s annual ranking because other countries have performed better.

Switzerland, France, Namibia and Mozambique ranked lower than Costa Rica in 2007, but higher this year.

Compared to the rest of the world, Costa Rican women are well-represented in political life, but the gender gap is wider at the workplace and in the classroom.

Costa Rica ranks 86th on workplace equality, which takes into account income, participation in the labor force and managerial positions. The country ranks 51st on education equality and 20th on equality in politics. On health equality, Costa Rica ties for first place with 36 other countries.

The United States’ gender equality ranking this year was 27, while Argentina and Cuba ranked 24th and 25th, respectively.

All other Latin American countries scored lower than Costa Rica, although Panama is catching up, with a ranking of 34.

In Costa Rica, some 72.5 percent of men are working or looking for work, compared to 41.7 percent of women, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC). Unemployment is 4.2 percent for men and 6.2 percent for women.

At the same time, Costa Rican women have made inroads in politics. Ticas now occupy seven of 19 cabinet positions and 21 of 57 seats in the legislature.

–Gillian Gillers


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