India was ranked 112 among the 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday. The first Gender Gap Index was published in 2006. It benchmarks 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in terms of economic participation, opportunity, educational attainment, health, survival and political empowerment.
The index aims to serve as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between men and women on health, economy, politics and education. It helps the stakeholders within each country to set priorities relevant to specific economic, political and cultural contexts. It measures the scores between 0 to 1. India has slipped to a 0.668 in the Global Gender Index.
The report says that “Globally, the average (population-weighted) distance completed to gender parity is at 68.6%, which is an improvement since the last edition. It will take 99.5 years to achieve full parity between men and women at the current rate of change.” The largest gender disparity is in political empowerment. Only 25% of the 35,127 seats in parliaments around the world are occupied by women and only 21% of the 3,343 ministers are women.
India has slipped to the 112th spot this time from Its 108th position in last year. While it was ranked 98th position in 2006. Moreover this time also Iceland has been the front runner for 11 years in a row followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland while the country with civil war Yemen is ranked the 153 or worst among all.
This time India has been ranked below its neighbour countries like china (106), Sri Lanka (102), Bangladesh (50) and Nepal (101).The report further indicated that “India has improved to 18th place on political empowerment but it has slipped to 150th on health and survival, to 149th in terms of economic participation and opportunity and to 112th place for educational attainment.”
Among the 153 countries studied, India is the only country where the economic gender gap (0.354) is larger than the political gender gap (0.411).India is among the countries with very low women representation on company boards (13.8%), while it was even worse in China (9.7%). However, on health and survival, four large countries -Pakistan, India, Vietnam and China fare badly with millions of women there not getting the same access to health as men.