At 135th, India ranks low globally in gender parity
India’s overall ranking in attaining gender parity remained at a low 135, out of 146 countries although it jumped five places, the Gender Gap Report 2022 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed. Iceland retained its place as the world’s most gender-equal country, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden, as per the report.
The cost-of-living crisis is expected to hit women hardest globally with a widening gender gap in the labour force, the WEF warned, adding it will take another 132 years to close the gender gap. The pandemic, it noted, has set gender parity back by a generation and a weak recovery was making it worse globally.
On India, the WEF said the gender gap score recorded its seventh-highest level in the last 16 years, but it continues to rank among the worst performers on various parameters. “With a female population of approximately 662 million, India’s level of attainment weighs heavily on regional rankings,” it said.
On the health and survival subindex, India ranked the lowest at 146th and figured among the five countries with gender gaps larger than 5%. However, India was ranked the top globally in terms of gender parity for primary education enrolment and tertiary education enrolment and at the eighth place for the position of head of state.
India’s global gender gap score has oscillated between 0.593 and 0.683 since the index was first compiled. However, while it showed a better performance in areas of economic participation and opportunity, the labour-force participation shrank for both men and women since 2021.
The share of women legislators, senior officials and managers increased from 14.6% to 17.6 %, and the share of women as professional and technical workers grew from 29.2% to 32.9%.
The gender parity score for estimated earned income improved; while values for both men and women diminished, they declined more for men.However, in the area of political empowerment, the subindex where India ranks relatively higher at 48th place, showed a declining score due to the diminishing share of years women have served as head of state for the past 50 years.
Within South Asia, India was ranked the sixth best on overall score after Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan. Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan scored worse than India.