India continues its poor showing in gender-based disparities, ranking 114 out of 142 countries on gender gap index released by the World Economic Forum. It has scored below average on women's economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival.
India came down by 13 spots from last year’s rank of 101 on the Gender Gap Index. It is among the 20 worst-performing countries in labour participation, income, literacy rate and sex ratio at birth. Contrarily, India is among the top 20 best-performing nations in political empowerment. The index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to capture gender-based inequalities.
Iceland ranks number 1 on WEF’s index six years in a row. It is followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The USA is ranked 20, putting it behind Canada, South Africa and France, but ahead of the United Kingdom and Australia. Interestingly, no country in the world has fully closed the gender gap, but the top five have plugged more than 80 % of it. Yemen, the lowest ranking country has closed just over 50 % of the gender gap. At 141, Pakistan is the second lowest ranking country, scoring poorly on all the four parametres.
India has the highest man-woman difference in the average minutes spent daily on unpaid work — 300 minutes. India has one of the lowest ratios of firms with female participation in ownership.