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Gender Gap Index-2022

Context

Recently The World Economic Forum has published its Global Gender Gap Report 2022. And within that report India was placed at 135th position out of 146 countries in Global Gender Gap Index.

Relevance

GS Paper 1: Role Of Women & Women Organization

Mains Question

Inclusion of more women in science and applied technologies is critical for societal advancement. Discuss.


About the report

  • It assesses countries’ progress toward gender parity across four dimensions, Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment.
  • The highest possible score on the Index is 1 (equality), and the lowest possible score is 0. (inequality).
  • To act as a guidepost for tracking progress on gender disparities in health, education, the economy, and politics.
  • This annual yardstick allows stakeholders in each country to set priorities that are relevant in their respective economic, political, and cultural contexts.

India’s stands on different sub-indices

(1) Economic Participation and Opportunity

  • This includes metrics such as the percentage of women in the labour force, wage equality for comparable work, earned income, and so on.
  • India ranks 143rd out of 146 competing countries, despite an increase in its score from 0.326 to 0.350 since 2021.
  • India was ranked 151st out of 156 countries last year.
  • India’s score is significantly lower than the global average, with only Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan trailing it on this metric..

(2) Educational Attainment

  • The literacy rate and enrollment rates in primary, secondary, and tertiary education are included in this sub-index.
  • India ranks 107th out of 146 in this category, with its score slightly worsening since last year.
  • India was ranked 114th out of 156 countries in 2021.

(3) Health and Survival

• This includes two metrics: birth sex ratio (in percent) and healthy life expectancy (in years).

• India is ranked 146th out of 146 countries in this metric.

• Its score has remained constant since 2021, when it was ranked 155th out of 156 countries.

• The country ranks 146 in the “health and survival” sub-index, making it the worst performer in the world.

(4) Political Empowerment

  • This includes metrics such as the proportion of women in Parliament, the proportion of women in ministerial positions, and so on.
  • Of all the sub-indices, India ranks highest in this one (48th out of 146).
  • However, despite its ranking, its score of 0.267 is quite low.
  • Some of the highest-ranking countries in this category perform significantly better.
  • Iceland, for example, is ranked first with a score of 0.874, while Bangladesh is ranked ninth with a score of 0.546.
  • Furthermore, India’s score on this metric has dropped from 0.276 to 0.267 since last year.
  • Despite the decrease, India’s score in this category is higher than the global average.

India and its neighbor hood

  • India trails Bangladesh (71), Nepal (96), Sri Lanka (110), the Maldives (117), and Bhutan among its neighbours (126).
  • Only Iran (143), Pakistan (145), and Afghanistan (146) performed worse in South Asia than India.
  • In 2021, India will be ranked 140th out of 156 countries.

What are the causes of the disparity?

  • Gender-based sex-selective practises: The wide sex ratio gaps at birth are caused by a high incidence of gender-based sex-selective practises.
  • Furthermore, more than one in every four women has experienced intimate violence in their lifetime.
  • Literacy rate is low: Gender disparities in literacy persist.
  • Women continue to face economic and workplace challenges, as well as declining political participation, despite advances in education and health.

Government initiatives to narrow the gender gap

  • Health sector initiatives for women include ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services), Matritva Sahyog Yojana for Pregnant and Lactating Women, Matru Vandanayojna, and Janani Suraksha Yojna.
  • Gender gap reduction: Some initiatives for gender gap reduction include the STEP scheme and MGNREGA.
  • Educational initiatives include the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Right to Education, and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas.
  • The Women’s Reservation Bill (108th amendment) was introduced in parliament to reserve 33% of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats for women, but the bill has yet to be passed by Lok Sabha.

The Way Forward

India’s low ranking on the gender gap index is a major source of concern, indicating a lack of gender equality. The situation must be dealt with zeal, or else the other half of the population will be left out of the path of growth.


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