India’s ranking in the Global Gender Gap index formulated by World Economic Forum is a dismal 108 out of 144 nations. Interestingly, Bangladesh ranked in the 47th position, which is way ahead of India. China is ahead of India too, being ranked in the 100th position.
Compared to India’s position in 2006, this year’s ranking is 10 notches lower. India has closed 67 per cent of its gender gap, according to the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2017. In fact the trend of higher gap between the genders is developing across the world. For the first time, the measurement of the gap by WEF is conducted across four pillars – political, workplace, education, and health – which have seen widening of the gap. “A decade of slow but steady progress on improving parity between the sexes came to a halt in 2017, with the global gender gap widening for the first time since the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006,” it said.
The findings of the WEF this year tells us that an overall 68 per cent of the global gender gap has been closed. This is a small deterioration over the last year, when 68.3 per cent of the gap was closed. The outcome of such result reveals that at the rate of the current year, it will take 100 years to close the gap, compared to 83 years with last year’s rate.
The positive side of the story is the improvement of several nations in the last twelve months as against a dismal show earlier on. Over half the 144 nations measured have registered improvement in the score over the last one year.
The lower score of India in the Global Gender Gap Index is due to the reason that there has been widening of the gender gaps in the healthy life expectancy, political empowerment and basic literacy. “With more than 50 years having passed since the inauguration of the nation’s first female prime minister in 1966, maintaining its global top 20 ranking on the political empowerment sub-index will require India to make progress on this dimension with a new generation of female political leadership,” the report said.
The positives for India has been the full closure of its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps for the past two successive years and near closure of the gender gap in the tertiary education.
Regarding this study, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab said, “Competitiveness on a national and on a business level will be decided more than ever before by the innovative capacity of a country or a company. Those will succeed best who understand to integrate women as an important force into their talent pool.”