India has slipped 28 places to rank 140 among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia.
According to the report, India has closed 62.5 percent of its gender gap till date.
The country had ranked 112th among 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020. Noting that the decline also took place on the economic participation and opportunity sub-index, albeit to a lesser extent, the report said India’s gender gap on this dimension widened by 3 percent this year, leading to a 32.6 percent gap closed till date.
Most of the decline occurred on the political empowerment sub-index, where India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers (from 23.1 percent in 2019 to 9.1 percent in 2021). “Among the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women’s labour force participation rate, which fell from 24.8 per cent to 22.3 percent. In addition, the share of women in professional and technical roles declined further to 29.2 percent. The share of women in senior and managerial positions also remains low: only 14.6 percent of these positions are held by women and there are only 8.9 percent firms with female top managers,” the report said.
Further, the estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator, it said.
Discrimination against women is also reflected in the health and survival sub-index statistics. Among India’s neighbours, Bangladesh ranked 65, Nepal 106,
Pakistan 153, Afghanistan 156, Bhutan 130, and Sri Lanka 116. — PTI