India 132nd on the gender inequality index; India even behind Pakistan

As per the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report 2013:

  • India stood at 132nd position out of 187 countries on the gender inequality index – performing worse than Pakistan (123).
  • All nations in South Asia, except Afghanistan, performed better than India, with Sri Lanka (75) topping them all. Nepal ranked 102nd and Bangladesh 111th.
  • Gender Inequality Index: It measures the loss in a country’s progress and human development because of gender inequality in three sectors: reproductive health, women empowerment and labor market participation.

Key factors which put India on such a low position are:

Skewed sex ratio, with only 914 females every 1000 males due to female feticide, .

  • Only 29% of Indian women above the age of 15 in 2011 were a part of the country’s labor force, compared to 80.7% men.
  • In Parliament, only 10.9% of lawmakers are women, while in Pakistan 21.1% are women.
  • Performance of other countries:
  • United States (42nd) on the list, 57.5% women and 70.1% men are a part of the labor force.
  • China ranked 35th.

Education and health status of women in India:

  • Only 26.6% women above 25 years received a secondary education in 2010, compared to 50.4% of men.
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio: In India, 200 women died every 100,000 childbirths.

Comparing with other countries:

  • U.S.  : Secondary education to 94.7% women which is a little higher than for men (94.3%).
  • China:  54.8% of women received secondary education compared to 70.4% for men.

Overall, India has made significant economic progress, improvements are slow on the human development front. On the human development index, India ranks 136th out of 187 countries mentioned in the study. In India huge income disparities, gender inequality and the caste divide remain major issues.



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