Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

Global Gender Gap Index, 2020IOCR


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Global Gender Gap Index, 2020

Mains level : Addressing gender inequalities in India

India has ranked 112th among 153 countries in the annual Global Gender Gap Index for 2020.

About the 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”.

Key findings

  • Iceland, Norway, and Finland occupy the top three spots in the Report.
  • Globally, the average (population-weighted) distance completed to gender parity is at 68.6%, which is an improvement since last edition.
  • 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’s performance has deteriorated

  • India has slipped four places on the index to 112, behind neighbours.
  • India’s latest position is 14 notches lower than its reading in 2006 when the WEF started measuring the gender gap.
  • It also ranked lower than many of its international peers, and some of its neighbours like China (106th), Sri Lanka (102nd), Nepal (101st), Brazil (92nd), Indonesia (85th) and Bangladesh (50th).
  • India is now ranked in the bottom-five in terms of women’s health and survival and economic participation.

Positive notes for India

  • On a positive note, India has closed two-thirds of its overall gender gap, but the condition of women in large section of India’s society is precarious and the economic gender gap has significantly widened since 2006.
  • India is the only country among the 153 countries studied where the economic gender gap is larger than the political one.
  • India ranks high on the political empowerment sub-index, largely because the country was headed by a woman for 20 of the past 50 years.
  • But, female political representation today is low as women make up only 14.4 per cent of Parliament (122nd rank globally) and 23 per cent of the cabinet (69th).

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