China’s gender equality has declined slightly this year compared to 2014, according to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report released on Thursday.

The world’s second-largest economy scored 682 out of 1,000 points, ranking 91st among 145 countries for equality between men and women. Last year, China placed 87th out of 142 nations.

China fared better than Japan and India, which sat at 101st and 108th respectively. However, the country lagged far behind other Asian neighbours such as the Philippines, which led the region by climbing to 7th worldwide.

Both Hong Kong and Taiwan were excluded from the list.

gender equality
Global gender equality ranking. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Researchers measured the gender gap by comparing men and women’s economic participation and opportunity; their educational attainment; their health and survival; and also their political empowerment.

The wage gap remains one of the most pressing gender inequality issues. Globally, an average working woman earned US$11,000 (HK$85,200) a year in 2015, equivalent to what an average working man earned nine years ago.

In the political realm, however, the gender gap is narrowing. Half of the surveyed countries have had a female head of state, and 18 percent of government ministers were women.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.