Afghanistan and Pakistan are at the bottom of the global gender gap index for 2022, dragged down by the lack of opportunities for women in the conservative, male-dominated societies.
The World Economic Forum, in a report released on July 13, says the two countries are joined by Iran in the bottom five countries in the global ranking, which measures economic participation, educational attainment, health, and political survival of women.
Taliban-ruled Afghanistan is last of 146 countries in the index, while neighboring Pakistan is just one place better at 145th, the report says. Iran is 143rd.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran are joined by the conflict-riddled African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad at the bottom of the list.
Iceland, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, and Sweden top the list.
Moldova (16) and Albania (18) ranked among the top 20.
Overall, the report says, "Gender parity is not recovering."
"It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. As crises are compounding, women's workforce outcomes are suffering and the risk of global gender parity backsliding further intensifies."