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Is Australia Really a World Leader in Closing the Gender Gap?


  • Angela Barns
  • Alison Preston


In the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2006 Global Gender Gap report, Australia was highlighted as a world leader in closing the gender gap. With reference to the Economic Participation and Opportunity Index (one of four components in the WEF Gender Gap Index (GGI)), this article assesses whether or not Australia is deserving of this recognition. Closer analysis shows that convergence in the participation gap flowed from increased participation in part-time, low-paid, and precarious jobs. Research also shows that women's entry into professional jobs has led to the feminization of some positions and that vertical segregation remains an ongoing problem. In highlighting these disparities, this article questions the capacity of the GGI to provide an adequate understanding of women's labor market participation and economic attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Barns & Alison Preston, 2010. "Is Australia Really a World Leader in Closing the Gender Gap?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 81-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:16:y:2010:i:4:p:81-103
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2010.530607

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