From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Global Gender Gap Index
Mains level : Women empowerment
India ranks 135 among a total of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index, 2022, released by the World Economic Forum.
What is Global Gender Gap Index?
- The report is annually published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- It benchmarks gender parity across four key dimensions or sub-indices — economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
- It measures scores on a 0-to-100 scale, which can be interpreted as the distance covered towards parity or the percentage of the gender gap that has been closed.
- The report aims to serve “as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics”.
- According to the WEF it is the longest-standing index, which tracks progress towards closing these gaps over time since its inception in 2006.
How has India fared on different sub-indices?
Here’s how it stands on different sub-indices:
(1) Political Empowerment
- This includes metrics such as the percentage of women in Parliament, the percentage of women in ministerial positions etc.
- Of all the sub-indices, this is where India ranks the highest (48th out of 146).
- However, notwithstanding its rank, its score is quite low at 0.267.
- Some of the best-ranking countries in this category score much better.
- For instance, Iceland is ranked 1 with a score of 0.874 and Bangladesh is ranked 9 with a score of 0.546.
- Moreover, India’s score on this metric has worsened since last year – from 0.276 to 0.267.
- The silver lining is that despite the reduction, India’s score is above the global average in this category.
(2) Economic Participation and Opportunity
- This includes metrics such as the percentage of women who are part of the labour force, wage equality for similar work, earned income etc.
- Here, too, India ranks a lowly 143 out of the 146 countries in contention even though its score has improved over 2021 from 0.326 to 0.350.
- Last year, India was pegged at 151 out of the 156 countries ranked.
- India’s score is much lower than the global average, and only Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are behind India on this metric.
(3) Educational Attainment
- This sub-index includes metrics such as literacy rate and the enrolment rates in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
- Here India ranks 107th out of 146, and its score has marginally worsened since last year.
- In 2021, India was ranked 114 out of 156.
(4) Health and Survival
- This includes two metrics: the sex ratio at birth (in %) and healthy life expectancy (in years).
- In this metric, India is ranked last (146) among all the countries.
- Its score hasn’t changed from 2021 when it was ranked 155th out of 156 countries.
- The country is the worst performer in the world in the “health and survival” sub-index in which it is ranked 146.
Where does India stand amongst its neighbour?
- India ranks poorly among its neighbours and is behind Bangladesh (71), Nepal (96), Sri Lanka (110), Maldives (117) and Bhutan (126).
- Only the performance of Iran (143), Pakistan (145) and Afghanistan (146) was worse than India in South Asia.
- In 2021, India ranked 140 out of 156 nations.