When the World Economic Forum released its annual “Global Gender Gap Report” for 2013, the Middle East and North Africa stood out as the world’s only region that did not improved its overall standing in the past year.
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The highest placed country in the region is the United Arab Emirates (109th out of 136 countries), which has achieved parity in education. But the UAE and countries such as Bahrain (112th) and Qatar (115th) are still failing to adequately capitalize on the investments and progress they have made in education through greater female participation in the econonomy as well as in politics.
”While they have started to close the gap on health and education, the next steps are about getting more women into the workforce,” said Saadia Zahidi, co-author of the Report and Head of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme, referring countries such as those mentioned above.