World Economic Forum (WEF) on 25 October 2016 released the Global Gender Gap Report 2016. The 2016 report provides Gender Gap scores for 144 countries compared to 145 countries included in 2015 report.
More than a decade of data has revealed that progress is still too slow for realizing the full potential of one half of humanity within our lifetimes. Out of the 144 countries surveyed, while Iceland topped the Gender Gap Index for the eighth consecutive year in a row, India stood at 87th position, from the 108th position in 2015.
As per the report, the global gender gap across health, education, economic opportunity and politics will take another 83 years across the 107 countries covered since the inception of the Report to close this gap completely.
Main Highlights of the Global Gender Gap Report 2016
• Top ten countries with high gender equality are Iceland (1), Finland (2), Norway (3), Sweden (4), Rwanda (5) Ireland (6), The Philippines (7), Slovenia (8), New Zeeland (9) and Nicaragua (10).
• Five countries with least gender equality are Yemen (144), Pakistan (143), Syria (142), Saudi Arabia (141) and Chad (140).
• The non-European nations in the top ten include Rwanda (5), The Philippines (7), New Zeeland (9) and Nicaragua (10).
• Out of the 142 countries covered by the Index both this year and last year, 68 countries have increased their overall gender gap score compared to 2015, while 74 have seen it decrease.
• No country in the world has fully closed its gender gap, but four out of the five Nordic countries and, for the first time this year, Rwanda, have closed more than 80% of theirs. Yemen, the lowest ranking country, has closed slightly less than 52% of its gender gap.
• The Global Gender Gap Index reveals that all countries can do more to close the gender gap.
• Across the Index, there are only five countries that have closed 80% of the gap or more.
• In addition, there are 64 countries that have closed between 70% and 80% of their gender gap.
• A further 65 countries have closed between 60% and 70%, while 10 countries have closed between 50% and 60%.
Report in context of India
• India which was ranked at 87th position had succeeded in closing the gender gap with regard to wage equality and across all indicators of the Educational Attainment sub-index, fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps.
• However, it also sees some regression on women’s estimated earned income and continues to rank third-lowest in the world on Health and Survival, remaining the world’s least-improved country on this sub-index over the past decade.
• Economic Participation and Opportunity: India was ranked at 136th position with 0.408 score. In this segment, India’s performance was one of the lowest among the surveyed countries. In 2015, India was placed at 139th position.
• Educational attainment: India was ranked at 113rd position with 0.950 score.
• Health and survival: India was ranked at 142nd position with 0.942 score.
• Political empowerment: India was placed at 9th position with 0.433 score.
• With an average remaining gender gap of 33%, the South Asia region is the second-lowest scoring on this year’s Global Gender Gap Index, ahead of the Middle East and North Africa and behind the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
• Bangladesh and India are the top-ranked countries in the region, having closed just under 70% and 68% of their overall gender gap, respectively, while the lowest-ranked countries are Bhutan and Pakistan, having closed 64% and 56% of their overall gender gap, respectively.
• No country in the region has fully closed its Educational Attainment gender gap, and only one country, Sri Lanka, has fully closed its Health and Survival gender gap.
• However, the region is also home to one of the top five climbers over the past decade on the overall Index and on Educational Attainment: Nepal.
India and BRICS Countries
• The ranks of BRICS Countries in ascending order are: South Africa (15), Russia (75), Brazil (79), China (99) and India (87).
India and SAARC Countries
• The ranks of SAARC Countries in ascending order are: Bangladesh (72); Sri Lanka (78); India (87); Nepal (110); Maldives (115); Bhutan (121) and Pakistan (143).
Global Gender Gap Index
• It was first published by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2006 and the 2016 report was the 11th edition.
• Through the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas, namely health, education, economy and politics.
• Economic Participation and Opportunity sub index and Political Empowerment sub index display the full scale of 0.00 to 1.00 while the figures for the Health and Survival and Educational Attainment sub indexes display the scale only from 0.50 to 1.00 for improving visual clarity.
• There are three basic concepts underlying the Global Gender Gap Index, forming the basis of the choice of indicators, how the data is treated and the scale used.
a) First, it focuses on measuring gaps rather than levels.
b) Second, it captures gaps in outcome variables rather than gaps in input variables.
c) Third, it ranks countries according to gender equality rather than women’s empowerment.