Recently, World Economic Forum has released Global Gender Gap Report 2021.
- The report estimates that it will take South Asia 195.4 years to close the gender gap, while Western Europe will take 52.1 years.
India’s Ranking in Global Gender Gap Report 2021
- India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries.
- India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap to date.
- India’s gender gap on this dimension widened by 3% this year, leading to a 32.6% gap closed to date.
- India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers.
- In the index of education attainment, India has been ranked at 114.
- But the two indices where India has fared the worst are “Health and Survival”, which includes the sex ratio, and economic participation of women.
- Further, the estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator.
- Discrimination against women is also reflected in the health and survival subindex statistics. With 93.7% of this gap closed to date, India ranks among the bottom five countries in this subindex.
- Wide gaps in sex ratio at birth are due to the high incidence of gender-based sex-selective practices. In addition, more than one in four women has faced intimate violence in her lifetime, the report said.
- The second-largest gender gap among the four components of the index is for the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. “Only 58.3 per cent of this gap has been closed so far (globally)
- The report notes that the economic participation gender gap actually widened in India by 3 percent this year. The share of women in professional and technical roles declined further to 29.2 per cent.
- The share of women in senior and managerial positions also is at 14.6 per cent and only 8.9 per cent firms in the country have top female managers
- The estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator
- But it is in the Health and Survival index that India has fared the worst, ranking at 155 — the only country to have fared worse is China..
- In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India.
- Among India’s neighbours, Bangladesh ranked 65, Nepal 106, Pakistan 153, Afghanistan 156, Bhutan 130 and Sri Lanka 116.
- Among regions, South Asia is the second-lowest performer on the index, with 62.3% of its overall gender gap closed.
- Within the region, a wide gulf separates the best-performing country, Bangladesh, which has closed 71.9% of its gender gap so far, from Afghanistan, which has only closed 44.4% of its gap.
- Because of its large population, India’s performance has a substantial impact on the region’s overall performance.
- The countries with the largest gender gaps in economic participation include Iran, India, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
India and China
- While ranking India at 155 — a spot ahead of China — on the health and survival index, the report points to a skewed sex ratio as the major factor.
- It says the ratio can be attributed to norms of son preference and gender-biased prenatal sex-selective practices.
- China and India together account for about 90 to 95 per cent of the estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million missing female births annually worldwide due to gender-biased prenatal sex selective practices, it states.
Back to basics
About Global Gender Gap Report
- The report is annually published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- It benchmarks countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment.
- The report aims to serve “as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics”.
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