The Korea Herald


Korea ranks last in OECD for women’s working environment 12 years in row

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : March 8, 2024 - 13:49

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South Korea ranked last, at 29th out of 29 OECD countries, in the working environment for women for 12 consecutive years, according to UK-based The Economist on Thursday.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, The Economist released the glass-ceiling index. This UK media outlet has published the index annually since 2013 for OECD member nations, assessing factors such as women’s labor participation rate, gender income disparity, the proportion of women in high-ranking positions, child care expenses and parental leave policies.

The continually low ranking indicates a tough environment for working women.

Iceland maintained its first-place ranking from the previous year, followed by Sweden, Norway and Finland, showing that Northern Europe offers a relatively favorable environment for working women.

France, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, Denmark and Australia were ranked between fifth and tenth, respectively. Subsequently, Austria, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, Slovakia, Italy and the Czech Republic followed in the rankings.

In terms of gender income disparity, South Korea exhibited a 31.1 percent difference between men and women, nearly three times the OECD average of 11.9 percent. Regarding labor participation, the proportion of Korean women was 17.2 percentage points lower than that of men.