WEF’s Gender Gap Index – Comparison between India and Bangladesh on Gender Equality


Synopsis – Key findings from the Global Gender Gap Index 2021 show that there are many things that India can learn from Bangladesh.

  • According to the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2021, India is ranked at number 140 out of 156 nations. It is a drop of 28 places compared to last year. While Bangladesh is the best performer in South Asia, ranked 65th.
  • The report focuses on measuring gaps between men and women in accessing resources and opportunities.
  • The Index measures the performance of countries based on four dimensions:
  1. Economic participation and opportunity
    1. Labour force participation rate
    2. Wage equality for similar work (on a 1–7 scale)
    3. Estimated earned income
    4. Legislators, senior officials, and managers
    5. Professional and technical workers
  2. Educational attainment
    1. Literacy rate
    2. Enrollment in primary education
    3. Enrollment in secondary education
    4. Enrollment in tertiary education
  3. Health and survival
    1. Sex ratio at birth
    2. Healthy life expectancy (years)
  4. Political empowerment
    1. Women in Parliament
    2. Women in ministerial positions
    3. Years with female head of state (in the last 50 years)A total score of 1 indicates perfect equality between men and women, whereas a score of 0 indicates complete inequality.
Comparison between India and Bangladesh

Indicators where Bangladesh doing better than India-

  • Sex ratio at birth- Bangladesh is ranked first in the world for ‘sex ratio at birth,’ whereas India is ranked 152nd.
  • Literacy rate – Bangladesh is much ahead in the female-male ratio in literacy rate.
  • Labour force participation – Bangladesh has a 0.46 female-to-male ratio, whereas India has a 0.28 female-to-male ratio.
  • Wage equality for similar work- On a 1-7 scale, the equality of wages between men and women for similar work in India is 3.38 compared to 4.09 in Bangladesh.
  • Estimated earned income – The female-male ratio in India is 0.21, whereas in Bangladesh it is 0.40.
    • This suggests that, in comparison to India, Bangladeshi women have a larger percentage of paid jobs with comparable salaries than their male counterparts.
  • Women in parliament – Bangladesh has a higher female-to-male parliamentarian ratio (0.26) than India (0.17).
  • Women as head of the state –  Bangladesh has attained equality (1), whereas India is at 0.45.
Indicators where India doing better than Bangladesh –
  • Senior position jobs (Legislators, Senior Officials, and Managers) – In India, the ratio of women to men in senior posts is 0.17, whereas, in Bangladesh, it is 0.12.
  • Technical and professional workers – India (0.41) is also better in terms of female-male ratio for ‘professional and technical work’, as compared to Bangladesh (0.32).
  • Enrollment in tertiary level education – India has done much better in enrollment in tertiary education.
  • Women in ministerial positions –  Ratio is 0.08 in Bangladesh and 0.1 in India.

What are the reasons that Bangladesh outperforms other South Asian countries in terms of gender equality?

The relatively rapid improvements in the lives of Bangladeshi women have been possible because of the steps taken by Bangladesh after the 1971 Liberation war. The following are the steps

  • Strong elite commitment and increasing efforts to reach women in the development process.
  • Bangladesh’s government developed better relationships with international donor agencies to take their support in rebuilding the country after the 1971 liberation war.
  • Proper implementation of timely required policy such as-
    • Micro-credit schemes
    • Reservation and Quota’s schemes
  • Promoting women-centric development programs.

Indian needs to learn from Bangladesh about closing its gender gap.

Read Also :-National Education Policy, 2020 – Provisions and Significance

Source – Down To Earth

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