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Economic gender gap has been a concern around the globe which describes the disparity between different genders in society, and in turn the labor market and business world, including inequality of opportunity, pay, progression, and benefits.
As per the global gender gap report 2022, India has attained a position at 135 out of 146 countries. The annual Global Gender Gap Report (GGGR) or Index is an instrument used by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to highlight where different countries stand on gender parity in comparison to their positions in the previous year.
The index of this year (2022) reveals that the gender gap has been closed at 68.1 percent globally, and if we move forward at a similar pace of progression, it would take us almost 132 years to reach complete gender equivalence all over the world.
This comprehensive data is based on four key dimensions- economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, survival and health, and political empowerment. India scored 0.629 in the year 2022, which indicates an increment of 0.003 from last year when it scored 0.625.
Sub-indices in different fields show India's position around different aspects. The educational attainment category where India has ranked 107 in 2022, the Economic participation and opportunity category placed at 143 out of 146 countries, the Political empowerment area ranked at 48 places and for Health and survival ranked at 146.
It is evident from the report that the progressive walk towards a gender-just world is rather slow, despite the obvious need for it. Gender equality is not only important for moral and human reasons but also for economic and developmental reasons. Any development that does not include gender justice is not fruitful, as it sidelines and marginalizes a significant section of the population.
In India, the gender gap between men and women in the labour force is 50.9 percent. An individual is considered as part of the labour force when they are working, or are looking for employment. 70.1 percent of the participants in the labour force are men, while the percentage of women is significantly less and accounts for only 19.2 percent.
A woman who gets a job in India has been paid less in comparison to men in the same sector. Other times the quality of work and working conditions is very poor, increasing hazards for them. The disadvantages faced by the women can be social, physical, mental, economic, and financial with provided them some fewer educational opportunities.
The inequality in the workplace faced by women became even more intense in the wake of Covid. As per the International Labour Organisation, more women would face a setback to regain employment than men during the Covid-19 recovery period.
India needs to work on the health and education especially focusing on the women and individuals from gender minorities because they bear the social and health costs of systemic gender discrimination the most, this affects access, productivity, and quality of life.
Every development sector needs efforts to be made with a gender lens and include the requirement of every gender in framing policies, making decisions, and allotting resources so that the gender gap can close within a certain period of time.