India ranks 129th on global gender gap index, Iceland on top: World Economic Forum

Within South Asia, India was ranked fifth after Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, while Pakistan was ranked last. Globally, Sudan was ranked last on the index.
World Economic Forum image used for representational purposes
World Economic Forum image used for representational purposes

NEW DELHI: India has slipped two places on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index to 129th place, while Iceland retained its top position in the rankings published on Wednesday.

Within South Asia, India was ranked fifth after Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, while Pakistan was ranked last.

Globally, Sudan was ranked last on the index of 146 countries, while Pakistan slipped three places to 145th.

India figured among the economies with the lowest levels of economic parity, alongside Bangladesh, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Morocco. All of them registered less than 30 per cent gender parity in estimated earned income.

However, India showed the best gender parity in terms of enrolment in secondary education, while it scored 65th rank globally in the political empowerment of women.

Concerning parity in the number of years with female/male heads of state for the last 50 years, India was ranked 10th.

With a population of over 140 crore, India has closed 64.1 per cent of its gender gap in 2024 and the decline of two places from 127th last year, mainly happened due to small declines in 'Educational Attainment' and 'Political Empowerment,' parameters, while 'Economic Participation' and 'Opportunity' scores slightly improved.

The WEF said India's economic parity score has trended upwards for the past four years.

In the Political Empowerment subindex, India scored within the top-10 on the head-of-state indicator, but its scores for women's representation at the federal level, in ministerial positions (6.9 per cent) and in Parliament (17.2 per cent), remain relatively low, it added.

The WEF said the world has closed 68.5 per cent of the gender gap, but at the current pace, it will take another 134 years -- equivalent to five generations -- to achieve full gender parity. Since last year, the gender gap has closed by 0.1 percentage points.

"Despite some bright spots, the slow and incremental gains highlighted in this year's Global Gender Gap Report underscore the urgent need for a renewed global commitment to achieving gender parity, particularly in economic and political spheres," WEF Managing Director Saadia Zahidi said.

"We cannot wait until 2158 for parity. The time for decisive action is now," she added.

Iceland was followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden in the top five. The UK was ranked 14th, while the USA was at 43rd place.

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