Daily News Analysis

WEF’s gender gap index

1st April, 2021 INDEX / REPORTS

Context: India had ranked 112th among 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020.

Key findings:

  • India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia.
  • According to the report, India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap till date.
  • Noting that the decline also took place on the economic participation and opportunity sub-index, India’s gender gap on this dimension widened by 3% this year, leading to a 32.6% gap closed till date.
  • Most of the decline occurred on the political empowerment sub-index, where India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers.
  • Among the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women’s labour force participation rate, which fell from 24.8% to 22.3%.
  • In addition, the share of women in professional and technical roles declined further to 29.2%.
  • The share of women in senior and managerial positions also remains low: only 14.6% of these positions are held by women and there are only 8.9% firms with female top managers.
  • 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 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.
  • Conversely, 96.2% of the educational attainment subindex gender gap has been closed, with parity achieved in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Yet, gender gaps persist in terms of literacy: one third of women are illiterate [34.2%] compared to 17.6% of men,”
  • In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India.
  • For the 12th time, Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world. The top 10 most gender-equal countries include Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Rwanda, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland.

Global Gender Gap Index

  • Published by: World Economic Forum
  • Indicators:
    • economic participation and opportunity
    • educational attainment
    • health and survival and
    • political empowerment.
  • It also examines the drivers of gender gaps and outlines the policies and practices needed for a gender-inclusive recovery.