India has been behind on the gender index and slipping over the years. In 2017, on the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index it dropped 21 slots behind neighbours China and Bangladesh, primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

India must have an index to score our performance on gender issues just like we have Ease of Business indicators.

The economic survey highlighted the following about India’s challenges in fixing gender issues and bringing women to contribute to the economy.

Also watch: Why did the Economic Survey in India go pink?

1. India must have an index to score our performance on gender issues just like we have Ease of Business indicators. Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said this is very important for India to get a place in the world.

2. Over the last 10-15 years, India’s performance improved on 14 out of 17 indicators of women’s agency, attitudes, and outcomes. This includes Agency which manifests in spending on themselves, spending on their households and their own mobility and health, Attitudes which relates to attitudes about violence against women/wives, and the ideal number of daughters preferred relative to the ideal number of sons and Outcomes.

3. The Survey said that gender outcomes exhibit a convergence pattern, improving with wealth to a greater extent in India than in similar countries so that even where it is lagging, it can expect to catch up over time.

4. The Survey warns that on several indicators India must add pace to its work.

Indian parents’ preference for sons. The survey notes that this remains a big societal anomaly

5. It talks about access and opportunity in employment, where India has been behind. We at SheThePeople believe although maternity leaves have been improved and efforts been made to increase work from home opportunities, a focus on this would be important to increase female contribution to the GDP.

6. Indian parents’ preference for sons. The survey notes that this remains a big societal anomaly. Earlier this year World Bank projections suggested that the sex ratio has been reducing in the past few years and is likely to decline further by the year 2031. The report says, “The reduction in sex ratio of youth is found to be much more than that of the overall population. It has come down to 939 in 2011 as compared to 961 in 1971 and is projected to decline further to 904 in 2021 and 898 in 2031.”

The gender gap is the gap between women and men across political, intellectual, social, cultural,  economic or others indicators. The Global Gender Gap Report by WEF ranks 144 countries on the progress they have made towards gender parity in four areas – health, education, economics and politics. And India turned up 108 which is a reason for real embarrassment.

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