India, which ranks low on narrowing the gender gap in education, health and equal pay for equal work, has, however, taken a high position on the political empowerment sub-index, shows the annual gender survey of the World Economic Forum.
Placing India at 114 out of 142 countries vis-à-vis removing gender-based disparities, the survey puts the country at number 15 on the scorecard for political empowerment. India also tops the list of countries on the years with woman head of state (over the past 50 years). While it fell 13 places to 114th slot, politically it is ranked higher than the United States and the United Kingdom. It ranks 111 on the list of countries which have women in Parliament and 107 on the list of countries with women ministers.
“India experienced a drop [in absolute and relative value] on the health and survival sub-index compared with 2006, mainly due to a decrease in the female-to-male sex ratio at birth. In 2014, it also performed below average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity and Educational Attainment sub-indexes,” the report says.
On economic participation and opportunity, India ranks 134, while on educational attainment it ranks 126. But on the health and survival parameter India’s rank is among the lowest at 142.
Owing to its low sex ratio at birth India slumps to 114th position overall, which makes it the lowest-ranked BRICS nation and one of the few countries where female labour force participation is shrinking, the report states.
Pointing out that it will take 81 years for gender parity at the workplace, the report shows Nordic nations dominate the Global Gender Gap Index in 2014; Nicaragua, Rwanda and the Philippines all make the top 10.
The index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. The index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria.
The report says on average, in 2014, over 96 per cent of the gap in health outcomes, 94 per cent of the gap in educational attainment, 60 per cent of the gap in economic participation and 21 per cent of the gap in political empowerment has been closed. No country in the world has achieved gender equality.