Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

India ranks 135 out of 146 in Gender Gap Index


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.


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