2021 Global Gender Gap Index: Key findings and India’s Rank

The World Economic Forum has released the Global Gender Gap Report 2021. India has seen a decrease in its ranking on the index by 28 places.

Key Points

  • India has been ranked 140th among 156 countries on the index. With this, India became the third-worst performer in South Asia.
  • As per the index, India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap to date.
  • In 2020, India was ranked 112th among 153 countries.
  • The decline also took place on the economic participation and opportunity subindex.
  • The report highlighted that India’s gender gap on this dimension widened by 3% this year, leading to a 32.6% gap closed till date.
  • Most of the decrease has been seen on the political empowerment subindex, where India regressed 13.5 percentage points. The women ministers have declined to 9.1% in 2021 from 23.1% in 2019).
  • One of the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women’s labor force participation rate, which decreased from 24.8% to 22.3%.
  • The share of women in professional and technical roles also decreased to 29.2%.
  • In senior and managerial positions, the share of women is also low. Only 14.6% of these positions are held by women and only 8.9% of firms are with female top managers.
  • The income earned by women in India is the only 1/5th of that earned by men. This has put India among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator.
  • Discrimination against women is also seen in the health and survival subindex statistics. With 93.7% of this gap closed to date, India has been ranked among the bottom five countries in this subindex.

India and its Neighbours

  • Among India’s neighbors, Nepal has been ranked 106, Bangladesh 65, Afghanistan 156, Pakistan 153, Sri Lanka 116, and Bhutan 130.
  • South Asia is the second-lowest performer on the index among regions. The region has an overall gender gap closed at 62.3%.
  • In the South Asia region, only two countries- Pakistan and Afghanistan have been ranked below India.

Iceland has topped the index for the 12th time and is the most gender-equal country in the world. The top 10 most gender-equal countries are Iceland, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Rwanda, Sweden, Ireland, and Switzerland.


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