India ranks 135th globally for gender parity; worst for survival and health: Report

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India ranked 135th in terms gender parity. (Representational)

New Delhi:

India ranked 135th in gender parity in India on Wednesday. This despite five spots improvement since last year due to better performance in areas like economic participation, opportunity and employment.

According to the Gender Gap Report 2022, the World Economic Forum (WEF), Iceland remained the most gender-equal nation in the world, with New Zealand, Finland, Norway and Sweden following.

Only 11 countries are lower than India in the index of the 146 nations. The worst five are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Congo, Iran, and Chad.

The WEF warned that women will feel the most affected by the cost of living crisis. This is due to an increasing gender gap in the workforce. It will take another 132 year (compared with 136 in 2021).

Further, the report stated that Covid-19 had set gender parity back by one generation and that a weak recovery was making things worse worldwide.

While the WEF stated that India’s gender-gap score reached its seventh-highest point in the past 16 years, it still ranks amongst the worst performers on several parameters.

It stated that India has a population of 662 million women and its level of attainment is influenced by regional rankings.

India has made significant improvements in its economic participation and opportunity performance since 2021. Since 2021, however, the proportion of women and men in the labour force has declined.

The percentage of women in senior positions, legislators and managers grew from 14.6 percent to 17.6 percent, while the number of women working as professionals and technical workers rose from 29.2 to 32.9 procent.

The gender parity score was higher for estimated earned Income; although values for men and women decreased, they were lower for men.

However, India’s subindex for political empowerment ranks 48th. This is due in part to the decline of the number of women serving as heads of state over the past 50 years.

India was 146th in the Health and Survival subindex. It also figured among five countries with greater than 5% gender gaps. The other four were Qatar, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and China.

India was, however, ranked at the top of the global rankings for gender parity in primary education enrolment as well as tertiary education education enrolment. It also occupied the eighth position for the title of head state.

India was ranked sixth in South Asia on the overall score. It was followed by Sri Lanka, Maldives (Bangladesh), Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Maldives, and Bangladesh. India was worse than Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

South Asia (62.3%) has the largest gender gap among all regions. There are low scores across all measures of gender gaps and very little progress in many countries since 2021.

It will take 197 more years to close this gender gap. The economic gender gap in the region has decreased by 1.8 percent due to increases in the number of women employed in technical and professional positions in countries such as Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.

According to the WEF, only one fifth of the 146 countries surveyed had closed the gender gap by less than 1% in the last year.

Saadia Zahidi, WEF’s Managing Director, stated that the cost of living crisis has disproportionately affected women after the shock of the labour market losses in the pandemic as well as the continuing inadequacy and inadequate care infrastructure.

“Government and business need to make two sets to combat a weak recovery: targeted policies to support women in their return to work and talent development for women in the future industries. We risk losing out on future economic returns of diversity and the gains made over the past decades.” she said.

At current progress rates, it will take approximately 155 years to close gender gap in political empowerment — 11 more years than expected in 2021 — and 151 for economic participation.

Although 29 countries have achieved full parity, it will still be 22 years before the educational attainment gap between men and women is closed.

While more than 140 countries have achieved at least 95% of their health gaps, there is a possibility that the overall trend in survival and health may reverse.
 

(Excepting the headline, this story is not edited by NDTV staff. Instead, it is published from a syndicated feed.

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