India down 4 places to 112th rank on gender gap
Country in bottom-5 in terms of women’s health and survival, economic participation
New Delhi: India has slipped four places to rank 112th globally in terms of gender gap amid widening disparity in terms of women's health and survival and economic participation -- the two areas where the country is now ranked in the bottom-five, an annual survey showed on Tuesday.
While Iceland remains the world's most gender-neutral country, India has moved down the ladder from its 108th position last year on the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report to rank below countries like China (106th), Sri Lanka (102nd), Nepal (101st), Brazil (92nd), Indonesia (85th) and Bangladesh (50th). Yemen is ranked the worst (153rd), while Iraq is 152nd and Pakistan 151st.
The Geneva-based WEF had published its first gender gap report in 2006, when India was ranked relatively higher at 98th place. Since then, India's rank has worsened on three of four metrics used for the overall ranking.
While India has improved to 18th place on political empowerment, it has slipped to 150th on health and survival, to 149th in terms of economic participation and opportunity and to 112th place for educational attainment.
The WEF said economic opportunities for women are extremely limited in India (35.4 per cent), Pakistan (32.7 per cent), Yemen (27.3 per cent), Syria (24.9 per cent) and Iraq (22.7 per cent).
It also named India among countries with very low women representation on company boards (13.8 per cent), while it was even worse in China (9.7 per cent).
On health and survival, four large countries -- Pakistan, India, Viet Nam and China -- fare badly with millions of women there not getting the same access to health as men, the WEF said.
It also flagged abnormally low sex ratios at birth in India (91 girls for every 100 boys) and Pakistan (92/100).
The WEF said India has closed two-thirds of its overall gender gap, but the condition of women in large fringes of India's society is precarious and the economic gender gap runs particularly deep.
Since 2006, the gap has significantly widened, and India is the only country among the 153 countries studied where the economic gender gap is larger than the political one.