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Global Gender Gap Report 2023: WEF

  • 22 Jun 2023
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Global Gender Gap Report 2023, WEF, Global Gender Gap Index, Gender Parity, Local Governance.

For Mains: Global Gender Gap Report 2023, Issues of Gender Inequality in Different Sectors.

Why in News?

Recently, 17th edition of the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), evaluating the status of Gender Parity across 146 countries.

What is the Global Gender Gap Index?

  • About:
    • It benchmarks countries on their progress towards gender parity in four Key dimensions with Submatrices.
      • Economic Participation and Opportunity
      • Educational Attainment
      • Health and Survival
      • Political Empowerment
    • On each of the four sub-indices as well as on the overall index the GGG index provides scores between 0 and 1, where 1 shows full gender parity and 0 is complete imparity.
    • It is the longest-standing index, which tracks progress towards closing these gaps over time since its inception in 2006.
  • Objectives:
    • To serve as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics.
    • Through this annual yardstick, the stakeholders within each country are able to set priorities relevant in each specific economic, political and cultural context.

What are the Key Findings?

  • Global Gender Gap Score:
    • The global gender gap score in 2023 stands at 68.4%, indicating a modest improvement of 0.3% points compared to the previous year.
    • At the current rate of progress, it would take 131 years to achieve full gender parity, showing a significant slowdown in the overall rate of change.
  • Top-Ranking Countries:
    • Iceland has maintained its position as the most gender-equal country for the 14th consecutive year, with a gender gap score of 91.2%.
      • It is the only country to have closed over 90% of its gender gap.
    • Three other Nordic countries—Norway (87.9%), Finland (86.3%), and Sweden (81.5%)—join Iceland in the top five rankings, highlighting their strong commitment to gender equality.
  • Health and Survival:
    • The gender gap in health and survival has closed by 96% globally.
  • Political Empowerment:
    • The political empowerment gender gap remains significant, with a closure rate of 22.1% globally and a projected timeline of 162 years to close the gap.
  • Educational Attainment:
    • The gender gap in educational attainment has closed by 95.2%, with significant progress made over the 2006-2023 period.
    • The gender gap in educational attainment is projected to close in 16 years.
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity:
    • The gender gap in economic participation and opportunity stands at 60.1% globally, highlighting the persistent challenges in achieving gender equality in the workforce.
    • The gender gap in economic participation and opportunity is projected to close in 169 years.

How has India Fared in the Gender Gap Report 2023?

  • India’s Rank:
    • India has made significant progress, rising from 135th (in 2022) to 127th out of 146 countries in the report's 2023 edition, indicating an improvement in its ranking.
      • India’s neighbours Pakistan ranked at 142, Bangladesh at 59, China at 107, Nepal at 116, Sri Lanka at 115 and Bhutan at 103.
    • The country has improved by 1.4 percentage points and eight positions since the last edition, marking a partial recovery towards its 2020 parity level.
      • India had closed 64.3% of the overall gender gap.
  • Gender Parity in Education:
    • India has achieved parity in enrolment across all levels of education, reflecting a positive development in the country's education system.
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity:
    • India's progress in economic participation and opportunity remains a challenge, with only 36.7% gender parity achieved in this domain.
    • While there has been an uptick in parity in wages and income, there is a slight drop in the representation of women in senior positions and technical roles.
  • Political Empowerment:
    • India has made strides in political empowerment, achieving 25.3% parity in this domain. Women represent 15.1% of parliamentarians, which is the highest representation since the inaugural report in 2006.
    • 18 countries — including Bolivia (50.4%), India (44.4%) and France (42.3%) — have achieved women’s representation of over 40% in Local Governance.
  • Health and Survival:
    • There is a 1.9%-point improvement in India's sex ratio at birth, after more than a decade of slow progress.
    • However, India, along with Vietnam, China, and Azerbaijan, still has relatively low scores on the Health and Survival sub-index due to skewed sex ratios.

What are the Indian Initiatives to reduce Gender Gap in Social, Economic and Political Life?

  • Economic Participation and Health and Survival:
    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: It ensures the protection, survival and education of the girl child.
    • Mahila Shakti Kendra: Aims to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development and employment.
    • Mahila Police Volunteers: It envisages engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers in States/UTs who act as a link between police and community and facilitates women in distress.
    • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh: It is an apex micro-finance organization that provides micro-credit at concessional terms to poor women for various livelihood and income generating activities.
    • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna: Under this scheme girls have been economically empowered by opening their bank accounts.
    • Female Entrepreneurship: To promote female entrepreneurship, the Government has initiated Programmes like Stand-Up India and Mahila e-Haat (online marketing platform to support women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs), Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESSDP).
    • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya: They have been opened in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs).
  • Political Reservation: Government has reserved 33% of the seats in Panchayati Raj Institutions for women.
    • Capacity Building of Elected Women Representatives: It is conducted with a view to empowering women to participate effectively in the governance processes.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Which of the following gives ‘Global Gender Gap Index’ ranking to the countries of the world? (2017)

(a) World Economic Forum
(b) UN Human Rights Council
(c) UN Women
(d) World Health Organization

Ans: (a)

Source: TH

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