Global Gender Gap Report 2023 [Latest Report]

India has been ranked 127 out of 146 countries in the latest Global Gender Gap report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). India’s overall score did improve in 2023 by 1.4 percentage points and eight positions compared to the 2022 report.

Gender Equality is one of the prime goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hence, the key highlights of the Global Gender Gap Report tend to reflect on the performance of the world towards the achievement of Goal 5 of the SDGs among other goals. 

This article brings you the key highlights of the latest WEF Global Gender Gap Report along with the latest Global Gender Gap Index Rankings 2023. The knowledge about Gender Gap Parity and this report’s evaluation will be useful for both prelims and mains examination of the IAS Exam

Facts for UPSC Prelims:

Who publishes the Global Gender Gap Report? World Economic Forum
When was the first Global Gender Gap Report published? 2006
Which is the latest edition of the Global Gender Gap Report? Global Gender Gap Report 2023 is the 17th and the latest edition of the report. 
How has India performed in the Global Gender Gap Index 2021 and 2022? India’s rank in Indices 2021 and 2022:

Global Gender Index 2021 – 140 

Global Gender Index 2022 – 135 

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Global Gender Gap Index

There are four dimensions based on which the Global Gender Index evaluates the performance of the countries:

  1. Economic Participation & Opportunity
  2. Education Attainment
  3. Health and Survival
  4. Political Empowerment

Key Highlights of the Global Gender Gap Report 2023

India has achieved an overall rank of 127 out of the 146 countries in the 2023 edition of the report.

  • India has closed 64.3% of the overall gender gap.
  • But, the country has reached only 36.7 % parity in economic participation and opportunity.
  • India’s neighbouring countries’ ranks:
    • Pakistan – 142
    • Sri Lanka – 115
    • Bangladesh – 59
    • China – 107
    • Bhutan – 103
    • Nepal – 116
  • The most gender-equal country in the world is Iceland having been in the first rank for 14 consecutive years.
    • It is the only country to have closed more than 90% of its gender gap.
  • While India has seen improvement in wages and income, the share of women in senior positions and technical roles has dropped slightly since the 2022 report.
  • The political empowerment of women in India has seen good improvement. India has achieved a parity of 25.3% with 15.1% of parliamentarians.
  • In local governance, India has achieved women’s representation of 44.4%. It is one of 18 countries to have more than 40% women’s representation in local governance out of the 117 countries with available data since 2017.
  • For India, the 1.9 percentage point improvement in the sex ratio at birth had driven up parity after more than a decade of slow progress, as per the report.
  • According to the report, the comparatively low overall rankings on the Health and Survival sub-index for countries India, Vietnam, China and Azerbaijan are explained by skewed sex ratios at birth.
  • Globally, the gender gap closed is at 68.4%, an improvement of 0.3% points since the last edition.
  • No country has yet achieved full gender parity, although the top nine countries (Iceland, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Nicaragua, Namibia and Lithuania) have closed at least 80% of their gap.
  • For the 146 countries covered in the 2023 index, the Health and Survival gender gap has closed by 96%, the Educational Attainment gap by 95.2%, Economic Participation and Opportunity gap by 60.1%, and Political Empowerment gap by 22.1%.

Key Highlights of the Global Gender Gap Report 2022

India’s rank for 2022 is 135 out of 146 countries that have been assessed for the report.

  • The overall score has shown improvement from 0.625 (2021 score) to 0.629.
  • The gender gap is the difference between women and men as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes.
  • The world’s most gender-equal country is Iceland.
  • The other countries in the top five are Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden.
  • The country with the lowest rank is Afghanistan.
  • As per the report, it will take 132 years for the countries to achieve parity.
  • No country has achieved full gender parity. However, the top 3 nations have closed about 80% of their gaps.
  • South Asia will take the longest time to reach gender parity, and this is estimated to be 197 years.
  • It said that the covid pandemic impacted and even reversed some of the gains made in gender parity.

How India fares on the four major dimensions

  • Political Empowerment
    • India’s rank is 48.
    • India’s score is low at 0.267.
    • Bangladesh is at rank 9
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity
    • India is in a very dismal position at rank 143 out of 146.
    • Only Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are behind India.
  • Educational Attainment
    • India’s rank is 107 which is marginally worse than the 2021 rank.
  • Health and Survival
    • Here, India is ranked last among all the countries on the index.

Key Highlights of the Global Gender Gap Report 2021

  1. It will take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide
    • To attain Gender Gap Parity, the average distance completed is 68 percent. 
    • Large countries’ performance has deteriorated.
  2. It will take 145.5 years to attain gender parity in politics
    • The largest gender gap is present in the political empowerment dimension. 
    • Only 22 percent of the gender gap in political empowerment has been closed so far. 
    • Important Facts – Concerns:
      1. Out of 35500 parliament seats across the world, women represent only 26.1 percent of the seats (9265 approximately)
      2. Out of 3400 ministers worldwide, women ministers are 22.6 percent of those. (768 approximately)
      3. As of 15th January 2021, none of 81 countries out of 156 countries (Considered in Global Gender Index 2021) had a woman as the head of the state.
    • Togo and Belgium are two countries to elect their first women prime ministers:
      1. Togo elected Victoire Tomegah Dogbé in 2020
      2. Belgium elected Sophie Wilmès in 2019.
  3. It will take 267.6 years to complete the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity. 
    • After politics, economic participation and opportunity remain the largest gender gap dimension. 
    • 58% of the gender cap in this dimension has been closed so far.
    • Two opposing trends witnessed:
      1. Trend 1 – There is an increase in the proportion of women among skilled professionals and also in wage equality
      2. Trend 2 – Income disparities are still an issue as they are still only part-way towards being bridged. Also, the number of women in leadership positions remains low. (Only 27 percent of total people in managerial positions are women.)
    • In selected countries, the impact of pandemic on women participation in the labour force led to the widening of the gender gap. 
  4. It will take another 14.2 years to close the gender gap in the dimension of education attainment. While the time to close the gap in health and survival is still unfixed. 
    • The Gender Gap in Education Attainment and Health and Survival has been nearly closed. 
    • 95 percent of the gender gap in education attainment has been closed; while 96 percent of that has been closed in health and survival gender gap. 
    • 37 countries are at parity in terms of education attainment. 

Get all the important international organization reports in the linked article. 

Impact of COVID 19 on Gender Gap – GGGR 2021

Job Loss

As per International Labour Organization (ILO); during the pandemic, five percent of all employed women lost their jobs. 3.9 percent of employed men lost their job. Consumer sector, Non-profits, and Media and Communication (Sectors with higher women participation) saw a decline of women’s hiring into leadership roles. 

Increasing Gender Parity in Future Work

There is an increase in occupational gender segregation in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. It is portrayed as a major challenge for gender parity as far as the future of jobs is concerned. The GGGR mentions, “Only two of the eight tracked “jobs of tomorrow” clusters (People & Culture and Content Production) have reached gender parity, while most show a severe underrepresentation of women.”

Sectors where Gender Gap is expected

As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2021; the sectors where women are underrepresented even today would face difficulty in terms of gender parity in jobs in future. These sectors are:

  1. Cloud Computing – 14 percent of the total workforce is women.
  2. Engineering – 20 percent of the total workforce is women. 
  3. Data and Artificial Intelligence – 32 percent of the total workforce is women. 

Job Switching Gender Gap

GGGR and Linkedin have collaborated to measure the difference between men and women’s likelihood to make an ambitious job switch. According to which, women find it difficult to make a switch to the fields where they are currently underrepresented:

  1. Cloud Computing – The job switching gap is 58 percent.
  2. Engineering – The job switching gap is 42 percent.
  3. Product Development – The job switching gap is 19 percent. 

To quote the report, “The pandemic is likely to have a scarring effect on future economic opportunities for women, risking inferior reemployment prospects and a persistent drop in Income.”

Way Ahead 

Gender-positive recovery policies can help meet these challenges:

  1. The investment should be increased in the care sector. The similar increase should be into equitable access to care leave for both genders. 
  2. National government should come forward with policies that arrest occupational segregation by gender. 
  3. To attain more gender-equal future of work, nations have to come up with effective mid-career reskilling policies, combined with managerial practices, which embed sound, unbiased hiring and promotion practices

Global Gender Gap Index 2021 Rankings 

Which is the most gender-equal country?

Iceland, for the 12th time, has topped the index. 

Which are the most-improved countries in 2021?

The five countries that are the most-improved countries in 2021 are:

  1. Lithuania
  2. Serbia
  3. Timor-Leste,
  4. Togo
  5. United Arab Emirates

Which countries are the newest addition in the Global Gender Gap Index 2021?

Three countries have been assessed for the first time in Global Gender Gap Index:

  1. Afghanistan – It is at the bottom of the index ranking 2021 with 156th rank. 
  2. Guyana – It ranked 53rd.
  3. Niger – It ranked 138th. 

Which region has made the most progress in Gender Parity?

Western Europe has made the most progress. It has closed 77.6 percent of the gender gap so far. It is followed by:

  1. North America – 76.4 percent
  2. Latin America and Carribean – 71.2 percent
  3. Eastern Europe and Central Asia – 71.1 percent

Bangladesh is the only country where more women have held head-of-state positions (27 years) than men in the past 50 years.

Which regions in the world have the largest gap in gender parity?

As per Global Gender Gap Report 2021, the Middle East and North Africa region remains the area with the largest gap with 39.1 percent of the gender gap yet to be closed. 

How much time will the regions take to close the gender gaps?

As per the data available till March 2021:

  1. Western Europe will take 52.1 years to close the gender gap. 
  2. North America will take 61.5 years to close the gender gap. 
  3. Latin America and Carribean will take 68.9 years to close the gender gap. 

All other regions are reported to be taking over 100 years to close the gender gap. South Asia is evaluated to be taking 195.4 years to close the gender gap. 

India in Global Gender Gap Index 2021

India has fallen 28 spots at 140 in the Global Gender Gap Index this year. In South Asia, it is one of the worst performers in terms of gender gap. The Global Gender Gap Index Rankings of its neighbours are given below:

  1. Afghanistan – 156
  2. Sri Lanka – 132
  3. Myanmar – 102
  4. China – 107
  5. Nepal – 106
  6. Bhutan – 130
  7. Pakistan – 153
  8. Bangladesh – 147
  9. Maldives – 128

In the first Global Gender Gap Report in 2006, India ranked 98. In Global Gender Gap Report 2021, the rank of India in different parameters is given below:

  1. Economic Participation and Opportunity – 151
  2. Educational Attainment – 114
  3. Health and Survival – 155
  4. Political Empowerment – 51

Learn about the discussion held in RSTV: Big Picture on Bridging Gender Gap in the linked article. 

Global Gender Gap Report 2022 [Latest Report]:- Download PDF Here

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