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Gender Parity | India improves, but still ranks 135 out of 146 countries: Report

The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment).

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By Ritu Singh  Jul 13, 2022 5:13:38 PM IST (Updated)

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India’s overall ranking in attaining gender parity saw an improvement in 2022, with the country jumping five places to 135 out of the 146 benchmarked this year, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Gender Gap Report showed.

On a 0 to 1 scale, where 1 represents the optimal situation or “parity”, India scored 0.629 on gender parity, which is its seventh-highest score in the past 16 years, but remained behind neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Nepal, the Maldives, and others. WEF did not feature Russia in the 2022 edition.
The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment).
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India’s global gender gap score has oscillated between 0.593 and 0.683 since the index was first compiled, WEF said. “With a female population of approximately 662 million, India’s level of attainment weighs heavily on regional rankings. Recovering ground since 2021, India registers the most significant and positive change to its performance on Economic Participation and Opportunity,” explained the report.
Labour-force participation shrunk for both Indian men (by 9.5 percentage points) and women ( down 3 percentage points) since 2021. However, in every other indicator, India gained in parity relative to the weighting of other indicators on the subindex.
IndexRank in 2022Rank in 2021
Overall Global Gender Gap135140
Economic Participation and Opportunity143151
Educational Attainment107114
Health and Survival146155
Political Empowerment4851
The report also finds that in India, the share of women legislators, senior officials and managers increased from 14.6 percent to 17.6 percent, and the share of women as professional and technical workers grew from 29.2 percent to 32.9 percent. The gender parity score for estimated earned income improved.
While values for both men and women diminished, they declined more for men. The Educational Attainment and Health and Survival subindexes reported small, insignificant changes. However, Political Empowerment recorded a declining score (-0.010) due to the diminishing share of years women have served as head of state for the past 50 years, the report found.
132 Years to Achieve Global Gender Parity
Globally, pandemic-led disruptions and a weak recovery has delayed time to gender parity by 132 years as compared to the 136 years estimated in 2021, according to the World Economic Forum.
The report suggests that of the 146 economies surveyed, just one in five has managed to close the gender gap by at least 1 percent in the past year. As a result, while gains have been made in the past year, they have reduced the time it will take to reach gender parity by only four years. This progress does little to offset the setback of an entire generation recorded in 2020-2021 at the start of the pandemic.
Across the 146 countries covered in 2022, the Health and Survival gender gap has closed by 95.8 percent, Educational Attainment by 94.4 percent, Economic Participation and Opportunity by 60.3 percent and Political Empowerment by 22 percent, as per WEF.
Between 2021 and 2022, the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index increased by 1.6 percent, based mainly on gains for women in professional and technical roles and a decrease in the wage gap, even as gender gaps in the labour force increased, said the WEF. For the Health and Survival sub-index, the report added, there was a small improvement from 95.7 percent to 95.8 percent, while the Educational Attainment sub-index fell from 95.2 percent to 94.4 percent and Political Empowerment stalled at 22 percent.
For the 13th consecutive year, Iceland stood out as the most gender-equal country in the world and the only one to have closed more than 90 percent of the gender gap. The Top 10 countries include:
Most Gender-Equal Countries (out of 146)
4New Zealand
"The cost of living crisis is impacting women disproportionately after the shock of labour market losses during the pandemic and the continued inadequacy of care infrastructure. In face of a weak recovery, government and business must make two sets of efforts: targeted policies to support women’s return to the workforce and women’s talent development in the industries of the future. Otherwise, we risk eroding the gains of the last decades permanently and losing out on the future economic returns of diversity,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.
While it will take 132 years to close the gender gap globally, the report finds that at the current rates of progress, it will take 155 years to close the Political Empowerment gender gap, 151 years for the Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap, and 22 years for the Educational Attainment gender gap. The time to close the Health and Survival gender gap remains undefined as its progress to parity has stalled, WEF said.
ParameterPercentage of Gap ClosedTime to Close Gap
Overall Global Gender Gap68.1%132 Years
Health and survival95.8%Undefined
Educational attainment94.4%22 Years
Economic Participation and Opportunity60.3%151 Years
Political Empowerment22%155 Years
Gender Gaps In The Workforce
The report finds that in 2022, gender parity in the labour force stood at 62.9 percent, the lowest level registered since the index was first compiled. Among workers who remained in the labour force, unemployment rates increased. While the current unemployment rates for both men and women are higher than pre-pandemic levels, women’s 2021 global unemployment rate (6.4 percent) was higher than that of men (6.1 percent), according to WEF.
Further, based on an analysis of 2019 data from 33 countries, representing 54 percent of the global working-age population, men’s share of time spent in unpaid work as a proportion spent in total work was 19percent, while for women this was 55 percent.
Pay gaps over the entirety of a working career alone are also creating gender wealth gaps, says the report. On average, wealth gaps amount to 11 percent for frontline operational workers and 31 percent for professional and technical workers. For senior and management workers, the pay gap generates an average wealth gap of 38 percent.
Based on data by Hologic, the report finds that between 2021 and 2022, reported stress was 4 percent higher in women than in men. This adds to a growing global health burden of mental and emotional disorders, which is disproportionately affecting women’s health and well-being.

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