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India ranked 140th out of 156 Countries, Iceland tops in WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021

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WEF Global Gender Gap indexIndia with a score of 0.625 has been ranked 140th out of 156 countries in the 15th edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2021’. Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world (for the 12th time) followed by Finland & Norway.

  • India has slipped 28 places to 140 in 2021 (from 112 in 2020).
  • The Global Gender Gap score in 2021 stands at 67.7% (remaining gap to close –  32.3%), the gap has widened by almost 0.6 percentage points.
  • It will take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide. It has increased by a generation (i.e. 36 years) from 99.5 years to 135.6 years due to the effect of the Pandemic.

RankCountry Score (0-1)

Bottom Ranked Countries:

  • Afghanistan (156), Yemen (155) & Iraq (154) took the last 3 positions in the rankings.


The Global Gender Gap Index is based on the evolution of gender-based gaps among 4-key dimensions – Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, health and survival & Political empowerment.

Global Conditions

  • At 67.7% (global gender gap score 2021), the world will take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide.

Regional Wise Performers

i.Among regions of the world,

  • South Asia is the second-lowest performer on the index with 62.3% of its overall gender gap closed.
  • The Middle East & North Africa are the lowest performers with the largest gap of 60.9%.
  • The top progressed regions in Gender parity are Western Europe (77.6%), North America (76.4%).

Among the South Asian Countries,

  • Bangladesh was the top performer on the Gender Gap Index with a global ranking of 65, followed by Nepal at 106, Sri Lanka at 116, and Bhutan at 130.
  • Afghanistan (156) & Pakistan (153) were the only countries behind India in the South Asian Region.

Regarding India

  • India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap to date.
  • India’s gender gap widened by 3% in 2020, leading to a 32.6% gap closed till date.
  • The estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s in the Economic Participation & Opportunity Index.
  • India, home to 0.65 Billion women, has widened its gender gap from around 66.8% in 2020 to 62.5% in 2021.
  • The income of an average woman in India is below 20.7% of that of an average man.

India’s Ranking based on Sub Index

  • Economic Participation and Opportunity – 151
  • Educational Attainment – 114
  • Health & Survival – 155
  • Political Empowerment – 51

Causes of Downfall in Rankings

Political empowerment subindex

  • The major reason of  India’s decline was due to decrease in this Women Political empowerment subindex. India declined by 13.5 percentage points in this subindex.
  • Women ministers have declined to 9.1% in 2021 (from 23.1% in 2019).
  • Another factor was decrease in women’s labor force participation rate, which decreased from 24.8% to 22.3%.

Recent Related News:

i.January 30, 2021, The 51st Edition of 2021 WEF Annual Meeting called ‘The Davos Agenda 2021’ took place virtually from January 25-29, 2021.

ii.March 6, 2021, According to a report compiled by the economists of Bank of America (BofA), Gender inequality has cost the world USD 70 Trillion since 1990.

About World Economic Forum (WEF):

Executive Chairman – Klaus Schwab
Headquarters – Cologny, Switzerland