IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd June, 2023 Economy

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  • India was ranked 127 out of 146 countries in the 17th Edition of the annual Gender Gap Report, 2023.

Gender Gap Report


  • The Global Gender Gap Report is an index designed to measure gender equality.

Publishing Body

  • It was first published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum.


  • It assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities.


  • The Report's Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to the calculated gender gap between women and men in four key areas: Health, Education, Economy, and Politics to gauge the state of gender equality in a country.
  • The report examines four overall areas of inequality between men and women in 130 economies around the globe, over 93% of the world's population:
  1. Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment.
  2. Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher-level education.
  3. Political empowerment outcomes on representation in decision-making structures.
  4. Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio. In this case, parity is not assumed, there are assumed to be fewer female births than males (944 females for every 1,000 males), and men are assumed to die younger. Provided that women live at least six percent longer than men, parity is assumed. But if it is less than six percent it counts as a gender gap.


  • The highest possible score is 1.0 (equality or better for women, except for lifespan (106% or better for women) and gender parity at birth (94.4% or better for women) and the lowest possible score is 0.

Source of information

  • Thirteen out of the fourteen variables used to create the index are from publicly available "hard data" indicators from international organizations, such as the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Health Organization.


  • It is the longest-standing index which tracks progress on closing these gaps since its inception in 2006.
  • It also explores the impact of recent global shocks on the gender gap crisis in the labour market.
  • The Report serves as a catalyst for greater awareness as well as greater exchange between policymakers.

Gender Gap Report, 2023

India specific findings

  • India has ranked at 127 out of 146 countries in terms of gender parity -- an improvement of eight places from last year -- according to the World Economic Forum's annual Gender Gap Report, 2023.
  • India has improved by 1.4 percentage points and eight positions since the last edition, marking a partial recovery toward its 2020 parity level.
  • India has attained parity in enrolment across all levels of education.
  • India has closed 64.3 percent of the overall gender gap.
  • India has reached only 36.7 percent parity on economic participation and opportunity.
  • In India, while there has been an uptick in parity in wages and income, the share of women in senior positions and technical roles has dropped slightly since the last edition, the report pointed out.
  • On political empowerment, India has registered 25.3 percent parity, with women representing 15.1 per cent of parliamentarians -- the highest for the country since the inaugural report in 2006.
  • For India, the 1.9 percentage point improvement in the sex ratio at birth has driven up parity after more than a decade of slow progress.

Performance with respect to neighbours

  • The index ranked India's neighbors Pakistan at 142, Bangladesh at 59, China at 107, Nepal at 116, Sri Lanka at 115 and Bhutan at 103.

Global Scenario and cross-country comparison

Most Gender-Equal Country

  • Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world for the 14th consecutive year and the only one to have closed more than 90 per cent of its gender gap, according to the report.

Women's Representation in Local Governance

  • Out of the 117 countries with available data since 2017, 18 countries -- including Bolivia (50.4 per cent), India (44.4 per cent) and France (42.3 percent) -- have achieved women's representation of over 40 percent in local governance.

Health and Survival sub-index

  • For Vietnam, Azerbaijan, India, and China, the relatively low overall rankings on the Health and Survival sub-index is explained by skewed sex ratios at birth.

Gender Parity at Birth

  • Compared to top-scoring countries that register a 94.4 per cent gender parity at birth, the indicator stands at 92.7 per cent for India (albeit an improvement over last edition) and below 90 per cent for Vietnam, China and Azerbaijan.
  • Overall, the Southern Asian region has achieved 63.4 per cent gender parity, the second-lowest of the eight regions.
  • The score in South Asia has risen by 1.1 percentage points since the last edition on the basis of the constant sample of countries covered since 2006. The improvement is partially attributable to the rise in scores of populous countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Share of women in ministerial positions

  • In terms of the share of women in ministerial positions, 75 countries have 20 per cent or less female ministers.
  • Populous countries such as India, Turkey and China have less than seven per cent of women ministers while those like Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have none.

Recovery of gender parity globally

  • Overall, the report said gender parity globally has recovered to pre-Covid levels but the pace of change has stagnated as converging crises slow progress.
  • While no country has yet achieved full gender parity, the top nine countries have closed at least 80 per cent of their gap.

Overall Gender Gap

  • The report found that the overall gender gap has closed by 0.3 percentage point from last year.

Reasons behind overall progress in 2023

  • The overall progress in 2023 is partly due to the improvement in closing the educational attainment gap, with 117 out of the 146 indexed countries now having closed at least 95 per cent of the gap.
  • For the 146 countries covered in the 2023 index, the Health and Survival gender gap has closed by 96 per cent, the Educational Attainment gap by 95.2 percent, Economic Participation and Opportunity gap by 60.1 per cent, and the Political Empowerment gap by 22.1 percent.

Closing the overall gender gap

  • Parity has advanced by only 4.1 percentage points since the first edition of the report in 2006, with the overall rate of change slowing significantly.
  • Closing the overall gender gap will require 131 years. At the current rate of progress, it will take 169 years for economic parity and 162 years for political parity, the report stated.
  • While there have been encouraging signs of recovery to pre-pandemic levels, women continue to bear the brunt of the current cost of living crisis and labor market disruptions.


Q. Consider the following statements with respect to Global Gender Gap Report:

1. The Global Gender Gap Report is an index designed to measure gender equality published by UN Women.

2. India has attained parity in enrolment across all levels of education in the Gender Gap Report, 2023.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of the above.

Correct Answer: (b) Only 2