Global Gender Gap Index

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    • Recently, the 2022 Global Gender Gap Index was released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

    Global Gender Gap Index

    • According to the WEF, it is the longest-standing index, which tracks progress towards closing gender gaps over time since its inception in 2006.
    • The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions: 
      • Economic Participation and Opportunity, 
      • Educational Attainment, 
      • Health and Survival, and 
      • 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.
      • 1 shows full gender parity and 0 is complete imparity. 
    • The cross-country comparisons aim to support the identification of the most effective policies to close gender gaps.

    2022 Index highlights

    • The 2022 Global Gender Gap Index ranks India at 135 out of 146 countries
      • In 2021, India was ranked 140 out of 156 countries.
    • Overall performance:
      • India has approximately 662 million (or 66.2 crore) women
      • In 2022, India’s overall score has improved from 0.625 (in 2021) to 0.629
      • India’s (135th) global gender gap score has oscillated between 0.593 and 0.683 since the index was first compiled. In 2022, India scored 0.629, which is its seventh-highest score in the last 16 years.
    • Dimension-specific performance:

    • Political Empowerment:
      • This includes metrics such as: The percentage of women in Parliament, the percentage of women in ministerial positions etc. 
        • Of all the sub-indices, this is where India ranks the highest (48th out of 146).
      • However, notwithstanding its rank, its score is quite low at 0.267
      • Moreover, India’s score on this metric has worsened since last year – from 0.276 to 0.267. 
      • The silver lining is that despite the reduction, India’s score is above the global average in this category.
      • Other countries:
        • Some of the best ranking countries in this category score much better. 
        • For instance, Iceland is ranked 1 with a score of 0.874 and Bangladesh is ranked 9 with a score of 0.546.
    •  Economic Participation and Opportunity:
      • This includes metrics such as: The percentage of women who are part of the labour force, wage equality for similar work, earned income etc. 
      • Here, too, India ranks a lowly 143 out of the 146 countries in contention even though its score has improved over 2021 from 0.326 to 0.350. 
      • Last year, India was pegged at 151 out of the 156 countries ranked. 
      • Other countries:
        • India’s score is much lower than the global average, and only Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are behind India on this metric.
    • Educational Attainment:
      • This sub-index includes metrics such as: Literacy rate and the enrolment rates in primary, secondary and tertiary education. 
      • Here India ranks 107th out of 146, and its score has marginally worsened since last year. 
      • In 2021, India was ranked 114 out of 156.
    • Health and Survival:
      • This includes two metrics: The sex ratio at birth (in %) and healthy life expectancy (in years). 
      • In this metric, India is ranked the last (146) among all the countries. 
      • Its score hasn’t changed from 2021 when it was ranked 155th out of 156 countries.

    Challenges

    • Political Empowerment:
      • Politics is often seen as a male bastion, and women are discouraged from entering it on the pretext that it is not a ‘feminine’ profession.
      • Young women face severe infrastructural barriers to entering politics.
      • This includes a lack of clean toilets and safe accommodation during field work. 
      • Female candidates were often made to contest in elections as “namesakes” for their husbands
    • Economic Participation:
      • Employer discrimination, violence against women in the workplace, etc are major hurdles in women’s economic participation.
      • When it came to allocating funds, the budget relegated women’s economic participation to secondary importance. 
      • Many agricultural, social programmes and female-focused initiatives received little attention.
      • For some, maternity leaves mean a halt in their careers. Many women have missed out on professional opportunities while on maternity leave.
    • Education:
      • Poverty and gender-based preference are two of the main challenges which impact girl child education.
      • Girls are encouraged and also engaged more in household work and drop out of school at an early age.
      • The distance of educational institutions from the house also affects the eduction due to fear of harassment and violence against girls.
    • Health and Survival:
      • Currently, women in India have to face numerous health issues, which ultimately affect the aggregate economy’s output. 
      • Women in India face issues like malnutrition, lack of maternal health, diseases like AIDS , breast cancer, domestic violence and many more. 
      • In the last two decades, the prevalence of anaemia among Indian women of reproductive age, on average, has been 20 percent more than the world average. 

    Major Government initiatives

    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP):
      • The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme focuses on ensuring the protection, survival, and education of the girl child. This Scheme was introduced by the government for addressing the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR). The overall goal of the scheme is to Celebrate the ‘Girl  Child & Enable her Education’. 
    • Scheme for Adolescent Girls: 
      • Previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA). 
      • It aims to provide them with life skills education, nutrition and health education, and awareness of socio-legal issues, among other things.
    • Mahila Shakti Kendra:
      • Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme (MSK) aims at empowering rural women by providing opportunities for skill development and employment. 
      • It is a sub-scheme under the umbrella scheme of the Mission for Protection and Empowerment of Women.
    • Working Women Hostel (WWH):
      • The Scheme for Working Women Hostel (WWH) aims at ensuring the security and safety of working women. The scheme seeks to provide safe accommodation for working women including daycare facilities for their children, wherever possible. 
    • National Crèche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers:
      • A creche is a facility that enables parents to leave their children while they are at work and where children are provided with a stimulating environment for their holistic development.
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandna Yojna:
      • The Scheme provides a benefit of Rs.5000 payable in three installments to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) for the first live child in the family.
    • Mahila e-Haat:
      • Mahila e-Haat is a direct online marketing platform that leverages technology to support women entrepreneurs/SHGs/NGOs and showcase the products/services that they make/manufacture/undertake. 

    World Economic Forum

    • About:
      • It is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
      • The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
      • It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.
    • Origin: 
      • It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation 
    • Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Some major reports published by WEF are:
    •  Energy Transition Index.
    • Global Competitiveness Report.
    • Global IT Report(WEF along with INSEAD, and Cornell University publishes this report.
    • Global Gender Gap Report.
    • Global Risk Report.
    • Global Travel and Tourism Report.

    Source: TH