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Do You Know Why India Ranks 95 out of 129 In The Gender Equality Index?

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“It’s time that we all see GENDER as a spectrum instead of a set of opposing ideals” Watson

Gender disparity is a problem faced by each country across the globe, it has been floating in society for centuries. When the idea of equality sprouted, it lit a spark which persuaded humans to thrive for it not only to bring about social peace and development but also to have an impact on economic growth. Gender equality concerns began to enter the prevailing economy and soon became a goal for many countries. Several schemes and policies have been introduced to eliminate the gender gap. To measure the improvement and state of different countries in terms of gender parity, the Gender Equality Index was launched.  

The Gender Equality Index indicates the position of various countries of the world in gender equality and also conveys how far countries are from achieving gender parity by measuring six domains – Money, Work, Knowledge, Time, Power, Health.

 Domains Of Gender Equality Index: In A Nutshell

Work, Money, Time: Economic Participation And Opportunity

The domain of work and money compares and examines the position of men and women in the labour market and measures the gap in earning and income respectively. Also, the domain of time measures the difference in the amount of time allotted to men and women for completing the same work, the time gap is also considered as gender parity. Aspects like the quality of work, the flexibility of time, duration of working hours, career prospects, distribution of income, and the risk of poverty are taken into consideration.

Equal participation of men and women at each level (management, administration, etc.)  and less or no pay gaps is important to score high in this domain.

Knowledge: Educational Attainment

The domain of knowledge measures the gap in the participation of men and women in education and training related activities.

An equal level of education and skill development opportunities is promoted to eradicate gender parity which acts as a barricade in future career prospects.

  • Power: Political Empowerment

The domain of power measures gender equality in decision-making positions in all spheres – economic, political and social.

It examines the number of men and women present in parliament, government and local assemblies. The proportion of women and men on corporate boards of the largest nationally registered companies listed on stock exchanges and national Central banks are also taken into consideration. Position of men and women in the industry of media and sports is also important for a high score in the domain of power.

  • Health: Health and survival

The domain of health measures the life expectancy rate of men and women. All genders should have equal access to health-related benefits and services. Health-related factors like smoking, drinking, physical activities, quality food consumption are taken into consideration while measuring this domain.

The overall Index scores are based on a scale of 0-100.

India’s position in the Gender Equality Index India is ranked 95th out of 129 countries, which is towards the bottom of the Asia and Pacific region. Ranking 17th out of 23 Asia and Pacific countries scored by the index.

Some factors based on which the ranking of India has declined are:

  • The proportion of seats held by women in the National Parliament. (Women made only 11.8% of parliament in 2018).
  • Women constitute only 28.7% in the labour force as compared 81.7% as their male counterparts.
  • 70.3 % of females work in the informal sector under unsafe circumstances with a huge pay gap.
  • 49.3% of young women are deprived of education.

India scores 56.2 points in Gender Equality Index.  Improvement in the domain of knowledge was visible as the literacy rate of male and women increased consequently as shown in the table below.

Year Male % Female % Combined %
1872[32] ~3.25
1881 8.1 0.35 4.32
1891 8.44 0.42 4.62
1901 9.8 0.6 5.4
1911 10.6 1.0 5.9
1921 12.2 1.8 7.2
1931 15.6 2.9 9.5
1941 24.9 7.3 16.1
1951 27.16 8.86 18.33
1961 40.4 15.35 28.3
1971 45.96 21.97 34.45
1981 56.38 29.76 43.57
1991 64.13 39.29 52.21
2001 75.26 53.67 64.83
2011 82.14 65.46 74.04
2011 (rev)[3] 87.23 70.73 79.31

*Source – census of India ( literacy rate)

In the domain of health, India continues to rank 3rd lowest in the world.

How NGOs And Companies Can Help Improve India’s Rank In GEI

Employment of women and men plays a vital role in the measurement of Gender Equality Index as even in the presence of illiteracy and poverty employment rate can increase through job-based training and skill development programmes.

NGOs and Companies are working in the domain of work and money also affects other domains like knowledge and power indirectly. As society is male-dominated, working in the field of employment of women can hugely impact India’s rank.

Even Cargo: Delivering Equality And Making Market Fairer For Women

Even Cargo, an all-women E-commerce logistics company works towards the eradication of gender disparity by conquering a male-dominated sector through training and skill development which leads to an improvement in gender position in these sectors conveying the scope of further enhancement in the domains of  Gender Equality Index.

Even cargo trains women in logistics sector through different modules of training –

  • Training In Riding Two-Wheelers By Honda

Women are also made aware of traffic rules and signals. They are taught to use smartphones and google maps for safety purposes. 

  • Self Defence Training

Women are trained in self-defence to eradicate the safety barriers, which otherwise force women not to step out.

  • Soft Skills Training

Skill-Based training is to the woman who works with Even Cargo to develop their personality, They are also taught to use google maps for easy experience.

  • Logistics Specific Training

This training provides the right amount of knowledge to women to make them self supporting.

Through this business module, Even cargo hits the breadth of different domains which hence works towards gender parity.

How Even Cargo Works In Different Domains

Training provided by Even Cargo encourage women to participate in economic activity of the country, the training programmes helps in improvement of Domains of Work, Money, and knowledge.

Regardless of educational qualifications, women are given employment with a decent salary of 8000-15000 per month which makes them financial liberated and secure, this has an impact on the domain of work, money, and knowledge.

Improvement in the domain of time is also looked up by Even Cargo though taking factors like working hours into consideration.

Indirectly Even Cargo also hits the domain of power, As when the employment of women on one level increases, the need for employment of women also strikes on different levels. This leads to the creation of space for the position of women on different levels of a company which increases the number of women in decision position.

Even Cargo is not only conceptualising women’s empowerment but also working for its implementation to nearly end gender disparity.

Government’s Initiative To Put An End To Gender Disparity

The Indian government has launched several schemes and policies to put an end to gender disparity.

Schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Priyadarshani, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme For Empowerment Of Adolescent Girls and many more which work in the domains of safety, money, and knowledge.

Recently, Delhi’s Chief Minister, Mr.Arvind Kejriwal planned to make metro and bus travel free for women to encourage them to travel with minimum fare and maximum safety.

Denmark, ranked 1st in the Gender Equality Index with a score of 89.5 works in all the core domains of the Index to conquer gender disparity and vows equal opportunity in education and work along with the elimination of domestic violence. In 2016, Denmark took initiatives against rape, stalking, and violence against women which resulted in the increased workforce of women. Denmark’s government also formed a committee to ensure gender equality in education.

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, France, Switzerland makes to the top of the list.

While at the bottom of the list, Chad is ranked 129th  along with Yemen, Afghanistan, Mali, Congo, and more countries.

As per reports of global index measuring,  ‘No country will be free of gender parity by 2030’ yet constant initiatives have to be taken by the world to grow economically and socially.

As said by Gates,“Many countries with the most limited resources are making huge strides in removing the barriers for girls and women across economies, politics, and society – -demonstrating that  when it comes to gender equality, governments shouldn’t have excuses for inaction.”

There are no excuses for inequality to survive.




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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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