India Slips 21 Places to to a lowly 108, On Gender Gap Index

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According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index, India slipped 21 places to a lowly 108, behind neighbours China and Bangladesh, primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

Key points


Image Sourse: business-standard

Moreover, India’s latest ranking is 10 notches lower than its reading in 2006 when the WEF started measuring the gender gap.

Top ranks continue to be held by the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway and Finland, Bangladesh, at 47th position, holds the highest rank in South Asia.

India’s greatest challenges lie in the economic participation and opportunity pillar where the country is ranked 139 as well as health and survival pillar where the country is ranked 141

WEF measures the gap across four pillars 

  • health,
  • education,
  • the workplace and
  • political representation

Index of ‘Educational Attainment’ and ‘Political Empowerment’

  • When the WEF first released the Index in 2006, it included only 115 countries.
  • The highest possible score being 1 (parity) and the lowest possible score being 0 (imparity). Iceland, the most gender-equal country has a score of 0.878, while Yemen, the worst-ranked, scored 0.516.
  • India has a score of 0.669 — up from 0.601 in 2006, but down from 0.683 in 2016.



The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.

Global Gender Gap Report

This  was first published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum. The 2016 report covers 144 major and emerging economies. The Global Gender Gap Index is an index designed to measure gender equality.

The report’s Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to calculated gender gap between women and men in four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.

The report measures women’s disadvantage compared to men, and is not strictly a measure of equality.

Gender imbalances to the advantage of women do not affect the score.

The report examines four overall areas of inequality between men and women in 130 economies around the globe, over 93% of the world’s population

  • Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
  • Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
  • Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
  • Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio. In this case parity is not assumed, there are assumed to be less female births than male (944 female for every 1,000 males), and men are assumed to die younger. Provided that women live at least six percent longer than men parity is assumed, if it is less than six percent it counts as a gender gap
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