India’s overall ranking for achieving gender parity improved in 2022, with the country moving up five spots that year to 135 out of 146 in the benchmark, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Gender Gap Report.
On a scale of 0 to 1, with 1 representing the optimal situation or “parity”, India scored 0.629 for gender parity, which is the seventh highest score in the last 16 years, but lagged behind neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China, Nepal, the Maldives and others. WEF did not feature Russia in the 2022 edition.
The Global Gender Gap Index measures the current status and development of gender parity in four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunities, Educational Level, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment).
India’s global gender gap score has fluctuated between 0.593 and 0.683 since the index was first compiled, according to the WEF. “With a female population of approximately 662 million, India’s level of education weighs heavily on regional rankings. India has been recovering since 2021 and is seeing the most significant and positive change in its performance on economic empowerment and opportunity,” the report stated.
Labor force participation has shrunk for both Indian men (down 9.5 percentage points) and women (down 3 percentage points) since 2021. However, on every other indicator, India has gained relative to the weighting of other indicators in the sub-index.
|index||Rank 2022||Rank 2021|
|Overall global gender gap||135||140|
|Economic participation and opportunities||143||151|
|health and survival||146||155|
The report also notes that in India, the proportion of women legislators, senior civil servants and managers has increased from 14.6 percent to 17.6 percent and the proportion of women professionals and technicians from 29.2 percent to 32.9 percent percent has increased. The value of gender parity for estimated earned income improved.
While levels decreased for both males and females, they decreased more for males. Educational attainment and health and survival sub-indices reported small, insignificant changes. Political empowerment, however, recorded a declining value (-0.010) as women have been fewer and fewer heads of state over the past 50 years, the report found.
132 years for achieving global gender parity
According to the World Economic Forum, pandemic-related disruptions and a weak recovery have delayed the time to gender equality by 132 years, compared to the 136 years estimated for 2021.
The report suggests that of the 146 economies surveyed, only one in five managed to narrow the gender gap by at least 1 percent over the past year. As a result, while progress has been made over the past year, the time to achieve gender parity has been reduced by just four years. This progress does little to offset the generational setback recorded in 2020-2021 at the onset of the pandemic.
In the 146 countries covered in 2022, the gender gap in health and survival has increased by 95.8 percent, in education by 94.4 percent, in economic participation and opportunities by 60.3 percent, and in political participation by 2022, according to the WEF 22 percent reduced.
Between 2021 and 2022, the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index increased by 1.6 percent, mainly based on gains for women in professional and technical positions and a narrowing of the wage gap, even as the gender gap in the workforce widened, according to 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 to 94.4 percent from 95.2 percent and political empowerment fell at 22 percent got stuck.
For the 13th consecutive year, Iceland stood out as the most gender-equal country in the world and the only country to close more than 90 percent of the gender gap. The top 10 countries include:
Equal countries (out of 146)
“The cost-of-living crisis is disproportionately affecting women following the shock of labor market losses during the pandemic and the continued inadequacy of utility infrastructure. In the face of a weak recovery, government and business need to make twofold efforts: targeted measures to support women’s return to work and the talent development of women in the industries of the future. Otherwise, we risk permanently undermining the achievements of recent decades and losing the future economic returns of diversity,” said Saadia Zahidi, executive director of the World Economic Forum.
While it will take 132 years to close the gender gap globally, the report finds that at current rates of progress it will take 155 years to close the gender gap in political empowerment, 151 years for the gender gap in political empowerment economic participation and opportunities and 22 years for the gender-specific level of education. The time to close the gender gap in health and survival remains undefined as progress towards parity has stalled, the WEF said.
|parameter||Percentage of closed gap||Time to close the gap|
|Overall global gender gap||68.1%||132 years|
|health and survival||95.8%||Not defined|
|educational success||94.4%||22 years|
|Economic participation and opportunities||60.3%||151 years|
|Political Empowerment||22%||155 years|
Gender gaps in the workforce
The report finds that gender parity in the labor force stood at 62.9 percent in 2022, the lowest level since the index was first compiled. Unemployment rose among workers who remained in the labor force. While current unemployment rates are higher for both men and women than before the pandemic, the global unemployment rate for women in 2021 (6.4 percent) was higher than that for men (6.1 percent), according to the WEF.
Based on an analysis of 2019 data from 33 countries, representing 54 percent of the global working-age population, men’s share of unpaid work as a percentage of total work was 19 percent, while women’s share was 55 percent.
According to the report, the pay gap alone throughout the entire working career also leads to gender-specific wealth gaps. On average, the wealth gap is 11 percent for frontline workers and 31 percent for professionals and technicians. For executives and executives, the pay gap translates into an average wealth gap of 38 percent.
Based on data from Hologic, the report finds that between 2021 and 2022, reported stress was 4 percent higher in women than in men. This contributes to a growing global health burden of mental and emotional disorders, which disproportionately affect women’s health and well-being.