India slipped 21 places on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index to a lowly 108, behind neighbors China and Bangladesh, primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.
Moreover, India’s latest ranking is 10 notches lower than its reading in 2006 when the WEF started measuring the gender gap.
“A decade of slow but steady progress on improving parity between the sexes came to a halt in 2017, with the global gender gap widening for the first time since the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006,” it said.
The findings in 2017 report, published on Thursday, showed that an overall 68 percent of the global gender gap has been closed. This is a slight deterioration from 2016 when the gap closed was 68.3 percent.
At the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to bridge, compared to 83 in last year.
The case is worse in terms of workplace gender divide, which the report estimates will take 217 years to close.
On a positive note, however, a number of countries are bucking the dismal global trend as over one-half of all 144 countries measured in 2017 have seen their score improve in the past 12 months, the report noted.
At the top of the Global, Gender Gap Index is Iceland. The country has closed nearly 88 percent of its gap. It has been the world’s most gender-equal country for nine years.