India Slips 28 Places In Global Gender Gap Index: Breaking Down Our Points Of Inequality

India in gender gap index released by the World Economic Forum has seen a downward fall and now ranks 140 out of 156 countries. Here are all the factors contributing to it.

Tanvi Akhauri
Mar 31, 2021 12:48 IST
Gender Gap In Financial Literacy

India in Gender Gap Index: In the Global Gender Gap Index report for 2021 released by the World Economic Forum, India has significantly slipped 28 places. The country now ranks low at the bottom, coming in at 140th place among a total of 156 countries. India is markedly the third-worst performer in South Asia, preceding only Pakistan and Afghanistan.


WEF through its GGGI report takes into account the state of gender equality in countries across the world upon different parameters in different subindexes like political participation, equal rights, sex ratio, state of living, health, pay parity and economic equities. Iceland tops the list of gender-equal countries this year, for the 12th time in a row.

Keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequalities it has prompted, the 15th edition of the report predicts that efforts towards closing the global gender gap have been increased from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.

India In Gender Gap Index Sees Downward Trend: Looking At The Points


Here are some key observations the 2021 GGGI report makes about India: 

  • The country has closed overall 62.5 percent of its gender gap as of now.
  • The biggest slide of 13.5 percent occurred in politics, where women ministers decreased to 9.1 percent in 2021 from approximately 23 percent in 2019.
  • Economic participation and opportunities for women declined by 3 percent as compared to last year.
  • Participation of women in the labour force fell to 22.3 percent, "translating to a gender gap of 72 percent."
  • Top leadership also remains comparably low with less females hired for the highest seats in corporates. "The share of women in senior and managerial positions also remains low: only 14.6 percent of these positions are held by women and there are only 8.9 percent firms with female top managers," the report says.
  • In education, India has managed to cover 96.2 percent of the gender gap, but literacy comparison shows more women are illiterate (34.2 percent) than men (17.6 percent).
  • While the gap of equal healthcare for women is relatively small, the report notes, "The fact that populous countries such as India and China perform below average contributes to reducing the global average result."

What Was Last Year's GGGI Report For India?


WEF's report mentions India's gender gap has increased from last year's 66.8 percent to 62.5 percent in 2021.

On the 2020 WEF report, India ranked 112 among 153 countries.

Impressing upon last year's ranking, the centre had said, "Government of India has given utmost priority to end the gender based inequities, reducing disparity between men and women, improving socio-economic status of women and increasing their participation in various fields," noting that the country's score moved from "0.665 in 2018 to 0.668 in 2020." More on the 2020 report here. 

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