From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Global Gender Gap Index
Mains level : Gender disparities in India
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.
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
- 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”.
Highlights of the 2021 report
According to the report, India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap to date.
- Economic participation: India’s gender gap on this dimension widened by 3% this year, leading to a 32.6% gap closed to date.
- Political empowerment: India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers.
- Income: 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.
- Health: 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.
- Violence: 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.
- 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.