Every year, the World Economic Forum releases their annual report on the global gender gap. In it, they examine the gap between men and women in the areas of education, health, economics and politics. Nicaragua has traditionally ranked very highly in this report, and this year Nicaragua ranks 1st in the Americas, including Canada and the United States. Globally, Nicaragua ranks 12th, beating many developed countries, such as the United Kingdom (18th), Spain (25th) and the United States (28th). Gender equality in Nicaragua is making great progress and the country outperforms many others in closing the gender gap.
While many countries are closing the gender gap in the areas of education and health, politics is an area that globally has seen little progress. Nicaragua, however, is a refreshing ray of light in this area. Nicaragua ranked amongst the highest in terms of gender equality in politics. In fact, it has been said that, “Nicaraguan women are objectively better off than their counterparts in more developed countries in politics.” Women make up more than 40% of lawmakers, senior officials and managers in Nicaragua. This number becomes even more impressive when compared to affluent, developed nations. For example, the percentage of lawmakers, senior officials and managers who are women in France is only 33%, and in Japan it is only 9%. Despite not having the economic resources of these more affluent nations, Nicaragua is able to greatly out-rank them in terms of gender equality in politics.
Education is another area in which gender equality in Nicaragua has undergone great progress in closing the gender gap. There are actually 8% more Nicaraguan girls than there are Nicaraguan boys enrolled in secondary school, as well as 2% more Nicaraguan women enrolled in universities, compared to Nicaraguan men. At least in terms of gender equality, Nicaragua’s education system seems to be doing very well.
A large part of this remarkable increase in gender equality in education in Nicaragua is due to the implementation of the Child-Friendly and Healthy Schools Initiative. This initiative, among other things, focusses on reducing the gender gap in Nicaragua, not only the area of education but also in general areas. For example, Nicaraguan boys and girls are asked to do the same tasks while at school, whether it be school assignments or cleaning up the classroom. This instills in Nicaraguan children the idea that the two genders are equal in all areas.
Gender equality in Nicaragua is doing remarkable. It ranks 1st in the Americas, and 12th globally. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Nicaraguans, however, as they are very accepting people.