New Delhi, April 5: Indira Gandhis long reign and Pratibha Patils appointment as President appear to be the only solace for Indias woman, whose situation continues to be among the worst in the world in most spheres, a global study has shown.
India has been ranked 114 among 134 nations in the Gender Gap Index Report, 2009, published by the World Economic Forum, down by one spot from its 2008 position.
India hugs the bottom in most categories but comes at No. 4 in the years with female head section, which has raised the country to No. 24 overall in womens empowerment. This despite India ranking 100 in the women in Parliament category and 93 in women in ministerial position. (See chart)
The report assesses countries by how well they have divided resources and opportunities between their male and female populations. It measures the gender inequality gap in four areas:
Economic participation and opportunity: relating to salaries, participation and access to high-skilled employment
Educational attainment: access to basic and higher education
Political empowerment: representation in decision-making structures
Health and survival: life expectancy and sex ratio
In the index, Iceland has claimed the top spot from Norway, which has slipped to third behind Finland. Sweden completes the Nordic countries continued dominance of the top four.
South Africa and Lesotho have made great strides in closing the gender gap, as proved by their entry into the top 10, at the sixth and 10th positions respectively. At No. 9, the Philippines is the Asian leader.