India continues to falter in its initiatives to bring gender-based parity in areas of health, education and economic participation, says a report published by World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday. The Switzerland-based organisation in its latest report Global Gender Gap Index 2010 has placed India at the 112th position on a list of 134 countries.
The report, which was introduced in 2006 by WEF, examines the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and calculates how equitably income, resources and opportunities are distributed between the two sexes. It tracks this progress in four fundamental categories — economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
“India and Pakistan perform above average on the political empowerment of women, particularly India, but lag behind in the other three categories. In particular, the persistent health, education and economic participation gaps will be detrimental to India’s growth; India is the lowest ranked of the BRIC economies featured in the Index,” the report says.
The Nordic countries remain global leaders in the campaign to close gender equality gap with Iceland, Norway and Finland occupying first, second and third slots respectively. Nepal (115), and Pakistan (132) accompany India at the bottom of the list. However, the report, citing research on the growing “power of the purse”, says women would be among drivers of post-crisis growth.