India’s global standing will improve because the World Economic Forum (WEF) will rank countries based on the participation of women at the panchayat level in its upcoming Global Gender Gap reports.

According to an assurance given to the Indian Women and Child Development Minister, who recently reiterated the flaws in the ranking system at Davos, the WEF is re-examining and changing the indices for the ranking.

 

What are India’s concerns regarding the WEF report?

  • Ignoring political participation at the panchayat level and bringing about a flawed and unjust view on women empowerment.
  • For women’s political participation, the WEF looks at the number of women in the Union Cabinet and members in both houses of Parliament.
  • Given that there are 1.4 million women in the Indian panchayat system, the WEF’s decision to include this for ranking is a major victory for India.
  • India has also communicated how various schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra and Stand-Up India, have an impact on women empowerment.

 

Other steps taken by the WEF

  • It will also showcase on its digital platform the impact achieved by the Indian government through its gender-budgeting system – promoting gender equality in all sectors and at all levels of governance.
  • The WEF will also establish a ‘Skills and Gender Parity Accelerator’ in India to identify and scale up targeted public-private initiatives that will prepare the Indian workforce for the future.

 

About the Global Gender Gap Report

  • The WEF has been releasing (annually except 2019) this index since 2006 to gauge gender equality.
  • It rates countries on how well they are distributing their resources and opportunities (regardless of the overall levels) among their male and female
  • The Report acts as a catalyst for greater awareness for people and policymakers by —
      • Offering a thorough framework for evaluating and comparing global gender gaps and
      • Outlining the nations that are role models in allocating these resources equitably.

 

Indicators of Gender Gap

  • The report examines four areas of inequality between men and women in 146 (in 2022) economies around the globe –
      • Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
      • Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher-level education
      • Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
      • Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio.
  • The highest possible score is 1 (except for lifespan (106%) and gender parity at birth (94.4%)) and the lowest possible score is 0.
  • Thirteen out of the fourteen variables used to create the index are from publicly available “hard data” indicators from international organisations, such as the ILO, UNDP and WHO.