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Global Gender Gap Report 2023

 GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector


Source: ET

 Context: According to the annual Gender Gap Report 2023 (17th edition) of the World Economic Forum (WEF), India was ranked 127 out of 146 countries in terms of gender parity – an improvement of 8 places from last year.


The Global Gender Gap Report:

  • It is an annual index first published in 2006 by the WEF to measure gender equality.
  • It assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities.
  • It serves as a catalyst for greater awareness as well as greater exchange between policymakers.


Highlights of the 2023 report:

  • No country has yet achieved full gender parity.
  • For the 14th consecutive year, Iceland (91.2%) takes the top position. It also continues to be the only country to have closed more than 90% of its gender gap.
  • Gender parity in Europe (76.3%) surpasses the parity level in North America (75%) this year to rank first of eight geographic regions.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa ranks 6th (68.2%), slightly below the global weighted average score (68.3%).
  • Southern Asia (63.4%) overtakes the Middle East and North Africa (62.6%) – the region furthest away from parity in 2023.


Major challenge:

  • The state of gender parity in the labour market remains a major challenge.
  • Not only has women’s participation in the labour market globally slipped, but other markers of economic opportunity have been showing substantive disparities between women and men.
  • For example,
    • Labour markets of the future: Women remain significantly underrepresented (29.2%) in the STEM workforce.
    • Skills of the future: Women do not have equal opportunities and access to online learning platforms, given the persistent digital divide.


Performance of India:

  • The country had improved by 1.4 percentage points and 8 positions since the last edition and had closed 64.3% of the overall gender gap.
  • The country had attained parity in enrolment across all levels of education.
  • On political empowerment, India has registered 25.3% parity, with women representing 15.1% of parliamentarians – the highest for the country since the inaugural report in 2006.
    • This comes after the WEF recognised the need to enumerate women’s participation in local government bodies in its Gender Gap Report after the Indian government raised the issue.


Performance of India’s neighbours: Pakistan at 142, Bangladesh at 59, China at 107, Nepal at 116, Sri Lanka at 115 and Bhutan at 103.


Challenges for India:

  • India had reached only 36.7% parity in economic participation and opportunity.
  • While there had been an uptick in parity in wages and income, the share of women in senior positions and technical roles had dropped slightly since the last edition.
  • The relatively low overall rankings on the Health and Survival sub-index are explained by skewed sex ratios at birth.


Way ahead:

  • Implementing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programme.
  • Increasing women’s economic participation and achieving gender parity in leadership (both business and government).
  • Collective, coordinated and bold action by private and public sector leaders will be instrumental in accelerating progress towards gender parity.



The gender parity globally has recovered to pre-Covid levels but the pace of change has stagnated as converging crises slow progress.


Insta Links:

Women in India


Mains Links:

Discuss the desirability of greater representation to women in the higher judiciary to ensure diversity, equity and inclusiveness. (UPSC 2021)