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Women won't have economic parity with men for 202 years, report says

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Image: Women's Strike Rally Takes Place In Russell Square
Women's rights demonstrators hold placards during a rally in Russell Square on International Women's Day on March 8, 2018 in London. -
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Chris J Ratcliffe
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It will take more than 200 years before women and men worldwide have economic parity, according to the annual Global Gender Gap Report released Tuesday by the World Economic Forum.

The report found that the economic opportunity gap - based on pay, participation and workplace advancement - has closed by only a small amount since the 2017 survey.

On pay alone, women continue to earn about 20 percent less on average than men, according to International Labour Organization findings cited in the report.

One factor holding women back is their being underrepresented in senior positions, the report said.

"In the workplace, women still encounter significant obstacles in taking on managerial or senior official roles," the report read, stating that it will take 202 years for the economic gap to close.

The United States ranks 19th out of 149 countries on economic parity between women and men. That is behind Iceland, Norway and Finland but ahead of Germany, France and Denmark.

The countries with the greatest economic parity are smaller nations: Laos is number one and Barbados number two. .

The report also measured gender gaps in other areas -including health, education and political - and found that this year the gap among all areas closed slightly.

The United States overall ranked 51st in gender equality. Iceland was ranked number 1 for the 10th year in a row, and war-torn Yemen was last.

The area with the widest gap between men and women is in politics, the report said.

"Only 23% of the political gap — unchanged since last year — has been closed, and no country has yet fully closed political empowerment gaps," according to the report, which compared the number of political offices held by women and men.