Fact sheet

Fact Check: Has equality for Australian women relative to the world fallen in the last six or eight years?

Gender equity
Gillian Triggs, former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, claimed the position of women relative to men in Australia had regressed dramatically over the past six to eight years compared to the rest of the world. She said they had "regressed to 46th in the world and then slightly come back again to the thirties, for economic empowerment and political engagement". Professor Triggs' claim is fair. On the World Economic Forum's annual global gender gap index, Australia's overall world ranking has worsened in the past six years and eight years. The index benchmarks countries on their progress towards gender parity. First, it awards each country a score based on the size of its gender gap. Then, it ranks countries according to their scores. Australia's overall gender gap ranking has worsened from 23rd position in 2010 (eight years ago), to 25th in 2012 (six years ago), to 35th in 2017. The low point in 2016 was due to Australia's worsening rankings on the measures of economic participation and opportunity for women, and political empowerment ' two measures that Professor Triggs specifically highlights. Significantly, Australia's ranking for economic participation and opportunity has worsened dramatically in the past six and eight years. It was in 24th position eight years ago and 22nd position six years ago. By 2017 it had slumped to 42nd position. However, it's worth pointing out, when assessed on the score for the size of its overall gender gap, Australia has improved slightly.
Verdict: Fair Call
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