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India's global gender gap ranking suffers due to hurdles of economic participation, health and survival: Report

By Our Representative
“The Global Gender Gap Report 2016”, released by the high-profile World Economic Forum, has found that while India may have improved its global gender gap ranking from 98th in 2006 to 87th in 2016, things have deteriorated on three of the four factors worked out for arriving at the gender gap index (GGI).
Thus, the report has found that in economic participation and opportunity, India’s ranking is 136, as against 110th in 2006, in educational attainment it is 113th in 2016 as against 102nd in 2006, and in health and survival it is 142nd in 2016 as against 103rd in 2006.
In just one of the four factors analyzed for arriving at the GGI, political empowerment, India has improved its ranking, from 20th in 2006 to 9th in 2016.
The report states, “Thirty-eight countries have fully closed their gender gap on the health and survival subindex”, regretting, however, “India, Armenia and China are the lowest-ranked countries” on this score.
Especially commenting on the South Asian region, the report says, “With an average remaining gender gap of 33%, the South Asia region is the second-lowest scoring on this year’s Global Gender Gap Index, ahead of the Middle East and North Africa and behind the Sub-Saharan Africa region.”
It adds, “Bangladesh and India are the top-ranked countries in the region, having closed just under 70% and 68% of their overall gender gap, respectively, while the lowest-ranked countries are Bhutan and Pakistan, having closed 64% and 56% of their overall gender gap, respectively.”
India's ranking across four categories
The report underlines, “No country in the region has fully closed its Educational Attainment gender gap, and only one country, Sri Lanka, has fully closed its Health and Survival gender gap.” However, it adds, “The region is also home to one of the top five climbers over the past decade on the overall Index and on Educational Attainment: Nepal.”
Pointing out that “Bangladesh (72) is the region’s top performer, recording progress this year on the Political Empowerment gender gap”, the report says, the country has “a widening of the gap on women’s labour force participation and estimated earned income.”
Bangladesh, it says, is “followed by India (87), which reports progress this year on closing the gender gap with regard to wage equality and across all indicators of the Educational Attainment subindex, fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps.”
“However”, the report says, India “also sees some regression on women’s estimated earned income and continues to rank third-lowest in the world on Health and Survival, remaining the world’s least-improved country on this subindex over the past decade.”
The report further says, “The next-ranked countries are Sri Lanka (100)—which has widened its Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap, particularly with regard to women’s labour force participation, estimated earned income and wage equality, despite a small increase in female parliamentarians—and Nepal (110), which retains last year’s ranking, with small improvements on the Political Empowerment subindex, as well as on literacy and wage equality.”
“Pakistan (143)”, the report says, “Remains the region’s lowest-ranked country and second-to-last ranked overall. It records progress on closing the secondary education enrolment gender gap, and on women’s estimated earned income, but this is partly offset by reversals on wage equality and female-to male literacy ratios.”

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