Just another two centuries, ladies! (Sarcasm very much intended).

There’s good news: women will eventually earn the same as their male counterparts for performing a similar role. The bad news? It won’t happen in our lifetime.

A new study has estimated that the global pay gap between the sexes will take as long as 170 years to close.

That would make it 2186 before we see equal employment opportunities.

The annual report, released by the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, found that the time it would take for the gender pay gap to close has actually increased by 53 years in just the last 12 months.

The 2015 WEF Global Gender Gap Report estimated that the gap would take 117 years to become obsolete, and it’s now 170.

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The study, which looks at gender inequality in 144 countries across the sectors of education, health, politics and economics, made for generally bleak reading.

According to The Guardian, when it comes to income and employment, gender inequality is at a similar level to that seen during the 2008 global financial crisis.

“More than a decade of data has revealed that progress is still too slow for realising the full potential of one half of humanity within our lifetimes,” the report stated.

“It is our hope that this latest edition of the report will serve as a call to action to governments to accelerate gender equality through bolder policymaking, to businesses to prioritise gender equality as a critical talent and moral imperative and to all of us to become deeply conscious of the choices we make every day that impact gender equality globally.”

However there is a silver lining – for those living in the UAE at least.

Why, what’s the situation like here?

Well, while the Emirates didn’t make it into the top 10 countries for gender equality (the top spots went to Iceland, Finland, Norway and Rwanda), we did rank well in some categories.

Overall, the UAE placed 124 out of 144 countries for gender equality, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.

While no Middle Eastern county has fully closed its gender gap in education and health, the UAE came “close” in the latter, the report stated.

“The United Arab Emirates sees improvement on women parliamentarians and wage equality, and comes very close to fully closing its gender gap on the Educational Attainment subindex,” it read.

“However, the Index’s updated estimated earned income scale highlights the continued existence of an income gender gap in the country.”

In terms of political empowerment, the UAE ranks 83rd out of the 144 countries surveyed, and scores 32nd place for educational attainment.

When it comes to economic participation and opportunity, the Emirates came in at No 130.

What’s the UAE doing to close the gender gap?

Plenty, actually. In the last few years, the UAE has set up a Dubai Women Establishment and the Gender Balance Council.

Vice-President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, has said that “the country’s government believes in the power of women and the role that they can play in society”.

“Our visionary leadership that supports women 100 per cent believes that for a society to be productive, it has to utilise the talents and capabilities of women who represent around half of the UAE population.”

In fact, the UAE hopes to become one of world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

Already there are female ministers in the government, women have the right to vote, and the UAE is getting its own all-female police force.

One of the big issues the Gender Balance Council is currently exploring is maternity leave, with a view to extending the existing allowance of 45 paid days.

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Image: Getty