Here comes another report that shames India. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2010 says India’s position is abysmal. Out of 134 countries surveyed, India is among the lowest ranked countries at the 112th position, with a score of 0.6155. The index ranks 134 economies according to the size of the gaps between men and women.


India (112) occupies one of the last places in the regional rankings. India and Pakistan perform above average on the political empowerment of women, particularly India, but lag behind in the other three categories of economic participation, educational attainment, and health.


India has not been making much improvement over the years. In 2006, it was ranked 98, but dropped to 114 in 2007, climbed to 113 in 2008, dropped to 114 in 2009, and climbed back to 112 in 2010. In other words, things haven’t been making much headway despite having a woman as the President, and a woman leading the country’s most powerful political party.


The persistent health, education and economic participation gaps will be detrimental to India’s growth; India is the lowest ranked of the BRIC economies featured in the Index. Over the next five years, these effects will be seen most clearly in China and Russia, and to a lesser extent in Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia.


Nordic countries Iceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Sweden (4) continue to demonstrate the greatest equality between men and women.


Ireland (6), Switzerland (10), Spain (11), Germany (13) and the United Kingdom (15) are among the European countries dominating the top 20. Luxembourg (26) and Greece (58) made the biggest improvements in closing their gender gaps, climbing 37 and 27 spots respectively, owing to gains in political and economic participation. The Philippines continues to set the example in Asia, ranking 9th overall because of a strong performance on all four dimensions of the index: health and survival, educational attainment, economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment.


In the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates (103) is the highest-ranking country, performing ahead of most countries in the region on education and political empowerment indicators. It is followed by Kuwait (105), Tunisia (107) and Bahrain (110).


The Global Gender Gap Report’s index assesses 134 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources.


The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas:


* Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment.


* Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education.


* Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures.


* Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio.

Some hard facts:


* Labour Participation and Opportunity: Rank 128; score 0.403; global average 0.590


* Educational Attainment: Rank 120; score 0.837; global average 0.929


* Health and Survival: Rank 132; score 0.931; global average 0.955


* Political Empowerment: Rank 23; score 0.291; global average 0.179


From Liberation News Service November 4, 2010

Top - Home