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Gender gap index

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

Gender gap index

What to study?

For Prelims: Highlights of the report and performance of various countries.

For Mains: Significance of the findings, gaps and ways to address them.


Context: Global Gender Gap Report 2020 has been released by the World Economic Forum.

For Prelims and Mains:

About Global gender gap report:

It is published annually by the world economic forum since 2006.

Global gender gap index is a part of this which measures gender equality across four pillars– they are economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment and health and survival.


The Report aims to serve “as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics”. Through this annual yardstick, the Report says, “stakeholders within each country are able to set priorities relevant in each specific economic, political and cultural context”.

Performance of India:

  • India has been ranked 112th among 153 countries this year. In 2018, it ranked 108.

Performance of other countries:

  •  Iceland, Norway, and Finland occupy the top three spots.

Key findings:

  • Globally, the average (population-weighted) distance completed to gender parity is at 68.6%, which is an improvement since last edition.
  • The largest gender disparity is in political empowerment. Only 25% of the 35,127 seats in parliaments around the world are occupied by women, and only 21% of the 3,343 ministers are women.
  • Projecting current trends into the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 99.5 years, on average, across the 107 countries covered continuously since the first edition of the Report.

Challenges and concerns for India:

India has closed two-thirds of its overall gender gap (score of 66.8%). However, the condition of women in large fringes of India’s society is precarious.

  • It has lost four positions since the previous edition, despite a small score improvement, as some countries ranked lower than India have improved more.
  • The economic gender gap runs particularly deep in India. Only one-third of the gap has been bridged. Since 2006, the gap has gotten significantly wider. Among the 153 countries studied, India is the only country where the economic gender gap is larger than the political gender gap.

Sources: the Hindu.