The WEF prepares the index measuring gender-based gaps on four key dimensions – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

According to the 16th edition of the report published Wednesday, women in the country saw a decline in overall gender parity in 2022 from 2021. That was in part due to poorer performance on educational attainment as the gender gap in literacy widened.

Bangladesh reported no changes in political empowerment (9th) and health and survival (129th).

However, the country scored poorly in economic participation and opportunity – ranking 141, only ahead of Egypt, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

There was a reduction in workforce participation for both men and women in Bangladesh, but the proportional impact was higher for women. However, the difference was counteracted slightly by an increase in the share of women engaged in professional and technical work as well as an increase in estimated earned income.

Although no country has yet achieved full gender parity, the top 10 economies have closed at least 80 per cent of their gender gaps.

Iceland became the most gender-equal country in the world for the 13th time, being the closest to achieving gender equality. Afghanistan was named as the least gender-equal country.

Among the eight regions covered in the report, South Asia ranks the lowest. The lack of progress since the last edition extends the wait in the region to close the gender gap to 197 years, with broad stagnation across the gender parity scores of most countries.

Bangladesh topped the regional ranking, followed by Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bhutan, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh and Nepal had closed 69 per cent of their gender gaps. Afghanistan had only closed 43.5 per cent, the lowest in the region and the world.

As a whole, the region scored the lowest in the world on the economic participation index and lagged in terms of health and survival and educational attainment.

The best indicator for the region is political empowerment, which has usually been strong due to the high share of women in political leadership.