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India slips 2 places on WEF’s Global Gender Gap index to 129th place

Gender Gap index

Women in India earn Rs 39.8 for every Rs 100 that men earn: WEF

NEW DELHI, JUNE 12: India has slipped 2 places on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index to 129th place, while Iceland retained its top position in the rankings published on Wednesday.
Within South Asia, India was ranked 5th after Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, while Pakistan was ranked last.
Globally, Sudan was ranked last on the index of 146 countries, while Pakistan slipped 3 places to 145th.
India figured among the economies with the lowest levels of economic parity, alongside Bangladesh, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Morocco. All of them registered less than 30% gender parity in estimated earned income.
However, India showed the best gender parity in terms of enrolment in secondary education, while it scored well on political empowerment of women at 65th rank globally.
With regard to parity in the number of years with female/male heads of state for the last 50 years, India was ranked 10th.
With a population of over 140 crore, India has closed 64.1% of its gender gap in 2024 and the decline of 2 places from 127th last year, mainly happened due to small declines in ‘Educational Attainment’ and ‘Political Empowerment’, parameters, while ‘Economic Participation’ and ‘Opportunity’ scores slightly improved.
The WEF said India’s economic parity score has trended upwards for the past 4r years.
In the Political Empowerment sub-index, India scored within the top-10 on the head-of-state indicator, but its scores for women’s representation at the federal level, in ministerial positions (6.9%) and in Parliament (17.2%), remain relatively low, it added.
The WEF said the world has closed 68.5% of the gender gap, but at the current pace it will take another 134 years ~ equivalent to 5 generations ~ to achieve full gender parity.
Since last year, the gender gap has closed by 0.1 percentage points.
“Despite some bright spots, the slow and incremental gains highlighted in this year’s Global Gender Gap Report underscore the urgent need for a renewed global commitment to achieving gender parity, particularly in economic and political spheres”, WEF Managing Director Saadia Zahidi said.
“We cannot wait until 2158 for parity. The time for decisive action is now”, she added.
Iceland was followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden in the top 5.
The UK was ranked 14th, while the USA was at 43rd place.
The list of World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index data highlighted that India is figured among the group of nations to have one of the lowest level economic gender parity.
India’s economic parity stood at 39.8% meaning that women in India on an average earn Rs 39.8 for every Rs 100 that men earn.
The report further noted that India has closed 64.1% of its gender gap in 2024. While India’s economic parity score has been improving, it needs to increase by 6.2% points to return to its 2012 level of 46%.
As per the WEF index, the war-torn Sudan has replaced Afghanistan to stand at the last rank as the Taliban ruled Islamic nation was not covered in this year’s data.
Besides Afghanistan, Malawi, Myanmar and Russia were also not covered.
The report said that Bangladesh has the lowest level of economic gender parity at 31.1%.
The lowest levels of economic gender parity were also observed in Sudan: 33.7%; Iran: 34.3%; Pakistan 36%, and Morocco: 40.6%.
“These economies all register less than 30% gender parity in estimated earned income”, the report said. It said that bridging the gap in the economic participation and opportunity between men and women is the second biggest hurdle in dealing with the global gender gap.
Liberia with 87.4% and Botswana with 85.4% remain the economies where economic gender parity is highest.
WEF highlighted that these nations have a 95% or above labour-force participation of women.
Iceland topped this year’s list as the most gender-equal country in the world, while Finland and Norway followed next.
Some of the other top ranking key countries were the United Kingdom at 14, Denmark 15, South Africa 18.
The United States ranked 43, Italy 87, Israel 91, South Korea 94, and Bangladesh at 99.
Considering the set of 101 countries continuously covered since 2006, the gender gap has closed by 0.1% point since 2023, according to the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2024.
(PTI & TS)