Gender  gap   regresses two  points  in India

Estimated read time 4 min read

By  our  special  Correspondent

New  Delhi, June  20  (IVC)   The  gender   gap  in India  has  slipped    two points  to 129  out  of  146 countries of  the  world,  according  to  the Global  Gender  Gap  report  released by  the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently.

                Last year India was  ranked    127, after  having jumped eight  places from 135 in 2022.  India has closed  64.1 per  cent  of  its  gender  gap in  2024, the  report    said, this  gave  policy-makers  in the country  with a huge window  of opportunity  to perform better.  The” slight regression” according to the report , is  mainly due  to  “small  declines “ in  the  spheres of  education and  political empowerment.

                With  a  population of  144.17  crore, even two   steps  back mean staggering  numbers. Though India had shown  a slight improvement  in economic participation and opportunity  for the last few years , it  would need 6.2 percentage  points to  match  its 2012 score of  46  per  cent , the report pointed  out.

                For  achieving  the  objective,    one  way  will be  through bridging gender  gap  the  labor   force      participation  rate (45.9 per  cent).  To do   that ,  a  number  of  measures  must  be  in place, from  ensuring  that  girls  do  not  drop  out  of  higher  education , providing  them  job  skills, ensuring  safety  at the  work  place  and  helping  keep  a  job after marriage  by  sharing responsibility  for   chores at  home.

                In  education , the  gap  between men and women’s  literacy  rate s 17.2 percentage points  wide, leaving  India ranked 124th  on this  count.  India has  fared  better in  the  political  empowerment  index, but  women’s representation in  Parliament   continues  to  be  low.

                Out  of  about 800  women contested  in the  18th  Lok  Sabha  elections held  recently, only 74 were  declared  elected  as  against 78  in the  last   Lok  Sabha  in 2019 out  of  a  total  of  543 members’ strength.More 

                The  gender  parity may  be climbing  upwards worldwide with  the  global gender  gap  standing at 68.5 per  cent  closed in  2024 bu  the  glacial pace  o  change- it  was 68.4 per  cent in    2023-  is  a  grim statistic.  At  this  rate, it  will take 134 years to  reach  full  parity,   the  Global Gender Gap  of the WEF  pointed  out,” roughly  five  generations beyond the  2030  Sustainable  Development Goal (SDG) target”.

                Iceland maintains its number one rank (93.5 per cent)  , and is also   the  only  economy to  have  closed  over  90 per  cent of  its  gender  gap, the  report  said.                 All under-performing  countries, including  India  should  call for  ”Governments to strengthen the  framework   conditions needed  for  business and civil  society  to  work  together  to  make  gender  parity an economic imperative” ,said  WEF Managing

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