The World Economic Forum (WEF) on 2 November 2017 released the Global Gender Gap Report 2017. The report catalogues 144 countries on the basis of their progress towards gender parity and then lists them accordingly in its Global Gender Gap Index.
These 144 countries are ranked on the basis of four thematic dimensions- Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.
This year, the Global Gender Gap Index 2017 is topped by Iceland, while India fetched 108th rank, slipped 21 places in comparison with its 87th rank in 2016.
Highlights of the Global Gender Gap Index 2017
• The report describes the year 2017 as the bad year in a decade of slow but steady progress as the uniformity between the sexes came to a halt with the widening of global gender gap for the first time since 2006, when WEF released the report for the first time.
• A total of 68 per cent of the world’s gender gap is now closed. However, this percentage has declined in comparison with the years 2016 and 2015, when the gap was 68.3 and 68.1 per cent respectively.
• At the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to close, compared to 83 last year.
• Gender parity is worst in terms of workplace gender divide, which, as estimated, will take 217 years to close.
• 27 countries closed gender gap in Educational Attainment; 34 countries closed their Health and Survival gender gaps; 13 countries closed 80 per cent of their gender gap in Economic Participation; while only Iceland closed 70 per cent of the gap in Political Empowerment.
• Iceland remains the world’s most gender-equal country, ranked at 1st position. The country closed nearly 88 per cent of its gender gap.
• Other top 10 countries in the 2017 Global Gender Gap Index include Norway (2), Finland (3), Rwanda (4) and Sweden (5), Nicaragua (6) and Slovenia (7), Ireland (8), New Zealand (9) and the Philippines (10).
• Among the G20 group of countries, France is ranked highest on gender parity with 11th position, followed by Germany at 12, the United Kingdom at 15, Canada at 16, South Africa at 19 and Argentina at 34.
• The United States slipped four places to 49, however, ranks above China (100), India (108), Japan (114), Republic of Korea (118), Turkey (131) and Saudi Arabia (138).
• Western Europe remains the highest-performing region in the Index with an average remaining gender gap of 25 per cent, followed by North America with remaining gender gap of 28 per cent.
• Eastern Europe and Central Asia closed on average 71 per cent of their gender gap. Three countries from the region rank in the top 20 such as Slovenia (7), Bulgaria (18) and Latvia (20).
• Sub-Saharan Africa displays a wider range of gender gap with three countries Rwanda (4), Namibia (13) and South Africa (19) in the global top 20, while many as the lowest-ranked countries in the Index such as Mali (139) and Chad (141).
• South Asia has an average remaining gender gap of 34 per cent. Bangladesh (47) is the only country in the region to feature in the top 100, with India ranked 108 and Pakistan ranked 143.
• Middle East and North Africa is the lowest-ranked region in the Index with an average remaining gender gap of 40 per cent. In addition to Israel (44), the region’s best-performing countries are Tunisia (117), the United Arab Emirates (120) and Bahrain (126).
India's rank in Global Gender Gap Index 2017
• India slipped 21 places to 108th position in the Global Gender Gap Index 2017. India’s this year ranking is even lower than its ranking in 2006 when the WEF started measuring the gender gap.
• According to the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India has closed 67 per cent of its gender gap, which is less in comparison with other countries and its neighbours such as Bangladesh, which is ranked 47th while China was placed at 100th position.
• The reason behind this decline in India's ranking is the less participation of women in the economy, their low wages, poor healthy life expectancy and lack of basic literacy. On average, over 60 per cent of women’s work in India is unpaid, compared to 12 per cent of men’s.
• It continues to rank fourth-lowest in the world on health and survival, remaining the world’s least-improved country on this sub-index over the past decade
• Luckily, India succeeded in closing its primary and secondary education gender gaps for the second year in a row and for the first time it has nearly closed its tertiary education gender gap.