According to the Global Gender Gap report issued by World Economic Forum, India is ranked 112 out of total 134 countries. Iceland topped the Global Gender Gap rankings showing greatest equality between men and women, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and New Zealand respectively. Yemen was last in the list at 134.
The Global Gender Gap Report assesses 134 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations. Gap is measured in the areas of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, and health and survival.
The lower literacy rate of females (54%) in India is a prime reason of the gender gap. Though India’s higher education system is third largest in the world, after China and the U.S.A, still the country manages a literacy rate of just 65% and females stand far behind.
The report alarms India to take urgent steps to make women as equal partners in the society and eliminate gender inequality. Lesser gender gaps would also bring in an environment for the country to grow and prosper.
However, it remains a fact that Indian women employed as vendors, domestic helps, artisans etc, forming a part of the working force, are rarely taken into count as independent working women. A large part of women population is engaged in farming and animal husbandry or are employed in small scale businesses and provides substantial financial support to the family which generally is ignored by such studies. More so, if the massive contribution of homemakers (also called housewives) in social welfare and domestic economy is taken into account, India would be scoring much higher than its present ranking.