Updated 05:35 PM EDT, Mon, May 17, 2021

Nicaragua Makes the Most Progress Towards Gender Equality?

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Nicaragua is stepping up in fighting its gender gap that has plagued the country in over a decade. Nicaragua one of the world's poorest countries and most of the poor live in far-flung remote areas without access to basic services.

In a report with Quartz, Nicaragua had managed to narrow its gender gap to 78% this year. This was based on a report with World Economic Forum Report, which was released on November 19. The "gender gap index" was previously at 66% back in 2006. The women in Nicaragua have made big strides in health, education and political representation.

However, the report added that while Nicaragua scored highly in the index, it does not mean that women are doing well in the country. The report emphasized that compared to the rest of their counterparts around the world, women in Nicaragua are faring rather poorly.

The report from The World Economic Forum says that Nicaragua ranks high in the gender-equality score for health and survival. However, the World Bank reported that 150 women die due to pregnancy-related problems for every 100,000 live births.

One of the cited examples was that while the country does ranks at the top for gender equality in educational attainment, it still trails behind many countries in educational attainment as a whole. The report said that almost half of Nicaraguan girls are enrolled in high school, which is above the 42% rate for their male counterparts.

However, this pales in comparison to other developing countries, such as Kenya. It was found out that only 18% of women would go on to university or attend other forms of tertiary education. It was also reported that 17% don't know how to read and write.

Women in Nicaragua have fought to the country's macho culture. It was reported by The Guardian that female farmers in the country have been underpaid and undervalued. Many of them are fighting back.

The Nicaraguan-based financial institution, Juan Francisco Paz Silva cooperative approached UK-based retailer, The Body Shop and requested that the value of women's traditional roles would be included as a cost in the production process. The contract now factors in the women's work. The agreement has generated additional revenue for the cooperative of about $30,000.

Nicaraguan women seem to be doing well in terms of politics. Women in Nicaragua make up more than 40% of lawmakers, senior officials and managers. However, Nicaraguan women still don't enjoy the rights many of their counterparts from around the world have.

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