India slips 21 places globally in terms of gender equality;

India slips 21 places globally in terms of gender equality; ranks 108 out of 144 countries

 

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India slips 21 places globally in terms of gender equality; ranks 108 out of 144 countries from last year’s 87th rank and is behind neighbors China and Bangladesh, primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

 

The Global Gender Gap Index captures the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracks their progress over time. This year’s edition of the Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity on a scale from 0 (imparity) to 1 (parity) across four thematic dimensions—Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment—and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups.

The 2017 Report’s key findings are:

  • The average progress on closing the global gender gap stands at 68.0%—meaning an average gap of 32.0% remains to be closed worldwide across the four Index dimensions in order to achieve universal gender parity, compared to an average gap of 31.7% last year.

  • On average, the 144 countries covered in the Report have closed 96% of the gap in health outcomes between women and men, unchanged since last year, and more than 95% of the gap in educational attainment, a slight decrease compared to last year. However, the gaps between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remain wide: only 58% of the economic participation gap has been closed—and about 23% of the political gap, unchanged since last year against a long-term trend of slow but steady improvement.

  • Out of the 142 countries covered by the Index both this year and last year, 82 countries have increased their overall gender gap score compared to last year, while 60 have seen it decrease. Moreover, as detailed in the Report, a number of countries and regions have crossed symbolic milestones on the path to gender parity for the first time this year.

  • Top 10 countries include Island, Norway, Finland, Rwanda, Sweden, Nicaragua, Slovenia, Ireland, New Zealand and Philippines.

                                         Source: PHD Research Bureau, Compiled from The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

  • At a global level, in 2017 four regions have a remaining gender gap of less than 30%—two of which are crossing this threshold for the first time this year. Western Europe records a remaining gender gap of 25%, placing it ahead of North America, with a gap of 28%, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with a gap of 29%, and Latin America and the Caribbean, with a gap of 29.8%. The East Asia and the Pacific region ranks ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a remaining gender gap of 31.7% and 32.4%, respectively, and South Asia, with a gap of 34%. The Middle East and North Africa region, for the first time this year, crosses the threshold of having a remaining gender gap of slightly less than 40%.

Figure: Distance from gender parity 2017, by region

                                                  Source: PHD Research Bureau, Compiled from The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

  • On current trends, the overall global gender gap can be closed in exactly 100 years across the 106 countries covered since the inception of the Report, compared to 83 years last year. The most challenging gender gaps remain in the economic and health spheres. Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it will now not be closed for another 217 years. However, the education–specific gender gap could be reduced to parity within the next 13 years. The political dimension currently holds the widest gender gap and is also the one exhibiting the most progress, despite a slowdown in progress this year. It could be closed within 99 years. The health gender gap is larger than it stood in 2006.

  • At the current rate of progress, the overall global gender gap can be closed in 61 years in Western Europe, 62 years in South Asia, 79 years in Latin America and the Caribbean, 102 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, 128 years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 157 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 161 years in East Asia and the Pacific, and 168 years in North America.

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