India at 87th position ,up 21 places in WEF gender gap report

Switzerland,Oct26:India has climbed 21 spots to rank 87th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016. In 2015, it was ranked 108th. The improvement in ranking, the report says, is driven largely by major improvements in education, where it has managed to close its gap entirely in primary and secondary education. With this jump in ranking, India has now overtaken China which is ranked 99th out of 144 countries. Iceland tops the latest rankings followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The global workplace gender gap is getting wider and economic parity between the sexes could take as many as 170 years to close after a dramatic slowdown in progress.

The report measures gender gap as progress towards parity between men and women in four areas – educational attainment, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

Behind this decline are a number of factors. One is salary, with women around the world on average earning just over half of what men earn despite, on average, working longer hours, taking paid and unpaid work into account.

Another persistent challenge is stagnant labour force participation, with the global average for women at 54%, compared to 81% for men.

In 2015, projections based on the Global Gender Gap Report data suggested that the economic gap could be closed within 118 years, or by 2133.

The education gender gap has closed 1% over the past year to over 95%, making it one of the two areas where most progress has been made to date. Health and survival, the other pillar to have closed 96% of the gap, has deteriorated marginally.

Two-thirds of the 144 countries measured in this year’s report can now claim to have fully closed their gender gap in sex ratio at birth, while more than one-third have fully closed the gap in terms of healthy life expectancy.

The pillar where the gender gap looms largest, political empowerment, is also the one that has seen the greatest amount of progress since the WEF began measuring the gender gap in 2006. This is now over 23%; 1% greater than 2015 and nearly 10% higher than in 2006. However, improvements are starting from a low base: only two countries have reached parity in parliament and only four have reached parity on ministerial roles, according to the latest globally comparable data.

The slow rate of progress towards gender parity, especially in the economic realm, poses a particular risk given the fact that many jobs that employ a majority of women are likely to be hit proportionately hardest by the coming age of technological disruption known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Women and men must be equal partners in managing the challenges our world faces—and in reaping the opportunities.

Both voices are critical in ensuring the Fourth Industrial Revolution delivers its promise for society,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.