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The World Economic Forum's "Global Gender Gap Index" Confidence Trick

Peter Zohrab 2021

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The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) is a problem, because people take it seriously. For example, Bettina Arndt's commendable article on the "Domestic Violence Industry" takes at face value (at paragraph six) the GGI's categorisation of the Swedes as "world-leaders in gender equality". As another example, an article by two Melbourne Acadfemics* on "How Feminism Became a Dirty Word in South Korea" also takes at face value (at paragraph four) the GGI's ranking of South Korea as 115th out of 149 countries on Gender Equality in 2018. However, the GGI has no intelligent theoretical basis and careful examination reveals that it is a scam based on a Feminist lie.

(NOTE: While drafting this article, I initially created the term Acadfemic/Acadfemia by mistake, as a typographical error, but I have decided to retain and deliberately introduce it as a term meaning "a pseudo-academic Feminist/the pseudo-academic Feminist ecosystem".)


Gender Indices

In my book, Sex, Lies & Feminism, there is a discussion (in the chapter on the United Nations) of two previous international gender indices: the initial GDI (Gender-related Development Index) and the later GEM ( Gender Empowerment Measure). The GDI was purely an adaptation of an already extant United Nations index -- the HDI (Human Development Index). The HDI gives a country a relative development ranking according to the income, life expectancy, and adult literacy of their citizens, and according to the numbers of people enrolled in their education system.

The GDI similarly gives countries a ranking according to relative male and female income, life expectancy, adult literacy, and numbers enrolled in educational institutions. Of course, "life expectancy" is the odd man out here, because women have a greater life expectancy than men, so it would never have appeared in a Feminist index of this sort in the normal course of events. So the later GEM did away with life expectancy as a factor. The GEM compares men and women according to the number of seats held by them in parliament, their proportions in the administrative/managerial and professional/technical employment categories, and their relative incomes.


Lack of Transparency in the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI)

There are three main problems with the Global Gender Gap Index and they are linked. The first problem is a lack of transparency about its methodology. The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ("the 2020 Report"), for example, has an Appendix B which is about methodology, but it is a mere 13 pages long, out of a total report length of a whopping 371 pages -- i.e. a mere 3.5% of the total! The closest the 2020 Report comes to explaining how the indicators are chosen is the following passage:

There are three basic concepts underlying the Global Gender Gap Index, forming the basis of how indicators were chosen, how the data is (sic) treated and how the scale can be used. First, the index focuses on measuring gaps rather than levels. Second, it captures gaps in outcome variables rather than gaps in input variables. Third, it ranks countries according to gender equality rather than women's empowerment (page 45).

This leaves unexplained why the four particular subindexes (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment) and their constituent indicators were chosen and other potential subindexes and indicators were ignored or rejected. The GGI seems to consist of an approximate merger of the indicators in the GGI's forerunners -- the GDI and GEM -- which may make the GGI politically easier for World leaders to accept, but does not constitute any sort of theoretical justification.


Political Bias in the Global Gender Gap Index

This lack of transparency was clearly caused by a second problem. The GGI (following in the footsteps of the GEM) is based on indicators which have (at best) been chosen arbitrarily, or -- even worse -- have been chosen for their compatibility with the Feminist agenda of demonstrating that women (but not men) are disadvantaged. Obviously, there was no consultation with Men's Rights Activists, who might have suggested subindexes such as Treatment by the Legal System (with indicators relating to Family Law, Criminal Law, and Reproduction Rights) and Protection from Danger (with indicators relating to Military Conscription, Workplace Injury/Death and Police-Inflicted Harm). Men's Rights Activists would also have made a lot of suggestions about the actual indicators chosen within the four current subindexes. However, I do not intend to get into that amount of detail in the present article.

There has clearly been a political process here, which has resulted in intellectual confusion. Some relatively conservative social scientists (i.e. economists) at the World Economic Forum have tried to incorporate Feminist dogma into what is supposed to be an objective, quasi-scientific framework. In other words, they have tried to fit a square peg into a round hole. The nature of the personnel involved in creating the GGI sheds light on this situation. The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 ("the 2006 Report") published the original conception of the GGI, which has remained unchanged since then (according to page 45 of the 2020 Report). In the 2006 Report we can see the names and agendas of the people involved. Two of the three authors are women and one of these women, Saadia Zahidi, is described as the Head of the Women Leaders Programme, which appears to be part of the World Economic Forum itself. So we can see that there is a strong Feminist political bias at the heart of the GGI, which has likely resulted in a push for the GGI to be compatible with the Feminist agenda of demonstrating that women (but not men) are disadvantaged.


Apparent Intellectual Confusion in the Global Gender Gap Index

This Feminist political bias has also caused another problem: incoherence. The GGI is not purely an academic exercise, but is also, in fact, a guide to action:

The country comparisons are meant to serve a dual purpose: as a benchmark to identify existing strengths and weaknesses: and as a useful guide for policy, based on learning from the experiences of those countries that have had greater success in promoting the equality of women and men" (2006 Report, page 3).

As I pointed out in relation to the GDI, women generally have a greater life expectancy than men, so the factor "life expectancy" would never have appeared in a Feminist index of this sort in the normal course of events. However, whatever the political process was that led the World Economic Forum to decide on its subindexes and indicators, the Feminists have apparently not managed to eliminate it from the GGI. Here it appears in the form of the indicator, "Healthy life expectancy." Governments routinely have a Ministry for Women (New Zealand), a Ministry of Women's Affairs (Afghanistan), or a Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (Nigeria), and so on, but equivalent ministries that further the rights or interests of men are rare to nonexistent. So how are countries expected to develop and implement policy to equalise the healthy life expectancy of men and women?

Every other indicator in every subindex deals with some issue where policy is apparently needed to bring women up to the level of men. All the rhetoric in the 2006 Report and the 2020 Report seems to assume that all change needs to be for the purpose of raising women's levels. It is incoherent, in this context, to include the indicator "Healthy life expectancy."


The Global Gender Gap Index Scam

However, there is more than mere intellectual confusion in play here. One should never underestimate the Feminists' deviousness and hypocrisy! Research has shown that Testosterone Administration Reduces Lying in Men. Women have less testosterone than men, so it is likely that women tell more lies than men do. Certainly, I have found that the activities of Feminists provide evidence of this. The GGI is just a particularly outrageous example of this. The following passage appears on page 45 of the 2020 Report:

Our aim is to focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen indicators has declined, rather than whether women are winning the so-called "battle of the sexes". Hence, the index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men in particular indicators in some countries. Thus, a country that has higher enrolment for girls rather than boys in secondary school will score equal to a country where boys' and girls' enrolment is the same.

This is an outrageous scam! A country that has higher enrolment for girls rather than boys in secondary school obviously does have a gender gap, but the GGI will actively conceal it, because it is a gender gap in favour of girls. This is obviously the Feminists' solution to the problem of the indicator, "Healthy life expectancy." Since all countries now have a greater life expectancy for women than for men, no country will show up as having a gender gap for life expectancy and no government will be guided by the GGI to develop policy to equalise men's and women's life expectancy!

Thus it is an outright lie for the World Economic Forum to claim (as quoted above) that the GGI is "a useful guide for policy, based on learning from the experiences of those countries that have had greater success in promoting the equality of women and men". Countries where women are "outperforming" men in various indicators (e.g. life expectancy and/or enrolment in secondary school) have obviously not achieved the equality of women and men with respect to those indicators -- yet the GGI will treat them as having achieved "equality" in those indicators. Feminist political pressure, organisation and propaganda being what it is, we can predict that there will be a future date, by which females will be outperforming males in most of the GGI's indicators in some Western countries -- yet the GGI will be concealing that fact by calling that "equality" and the GGI will still be being used by Feminists in those countries to call for "equality" in the remaining minority of indicators.


Someone has let women out of the kitchen -- and they have been telling lies ever since!




Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

29 August 2021