Global Gender Gap Index 2020 - VISION

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Global Gender Gap Index 2020

Why in News?
The Global Gender Gap Index 2020 was released by the World Economic Forum recently.
What is Global Gender Gap Index?

  • The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 benchmarks 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in 4 dimensions,
    1. Economic Participation and Opportunity,
    2. Educational Attainment,
    3. Health and Survival and
    4. Political Empowerment.
  • In addition, this year’s report examines gender gap prospects in the professions of the future.
What is the need for an assessment?
  • Assessing women’s access to equal opportunity and resources against the access that men have would be a scientific way of evaluating a nation’s commitment to the advancement of its citizens.
  • But going by the Global Gender Gap Index 2020, questions can be easily raised about whether this government is doing the right thing by the country’s women.
  • Notably, it measures gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in countries, rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities.
What does the index reveal?
  • India has dropped four points from 2018, to take the 112th rank on the Index.
  • Despite a small score improvement, India has lost four positions as some countries ranked lower than India have shown better improvement.
  • The country has reportedly closed 2/3rd of its overall gender gap, with a score of 66.8%
  • But the report notes with concern that the condition of women in large fringes of Indian society is ‘precarious’.
What do the sub-indices reveal?

  • Of significant concern is the economic gender gap, with a score of 35.4%, at the 149th place and down 7 places since the previous edition.
  • This indicates that only a third of the gap has been bridged.
  • The participation of women in the labour force is also among the lowest in the world, and the female estimated earned income is only 1/5th of male income.
  • An alarming statistic is that India is at 150th position on the very bottom of the Health and Survival sub-index.
  • It is determined largely by the skewed sex ratio at birth, violence, forced marriage and discrimination in access to health.
  • It is on the educational attainment (112th rank) and political empowerment (18th rank) fronts that the relative good news is buried.
What could be done?
  • The Gender Gap Index presents India with an opportunity to make the necessary amends forthwith.
  • Doing what the government is currently doing isn’t going to be sufficient.
  • The government needs to engage intimately with all aspects indicated by the Index to improve the score.
  • It should set targets to reduce the gender gap in the foreseeable future.
  • It will have to drastically scale up efforts it has introduced to encourage women’s participation, and increase opportunities for them.
  • To do so it also needs to make sure there is actual implementation at the ground level.
  • A commitment to ameliorate the conditions for women is a non-negotiable duty of any state.

Source: The Hindu

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