India behind Bangladesh, Ghana in gender parity

03 Nov 2015


The states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have the worst performance on female empowerment in India with a score ranging from 0.42 to 0.46 on a Female Empowerment Index or Femdex prepared by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

These states account for some 32 per cent of India's female working-age population. With this score, India is close to the Gender Parity Score (GPS) of countries like Chad and Yemen.

This was revealed in the survey The Power of Parity: Advancing Women's Equality in India by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

The Femdex was developed for the first time for the survey based on a sub-set of 10 of the 15 indicators for which data was available at the state level in India.

The survey has calculated GPS for each country and region on a scale of 0 to 1 where a GPS of 1 indicates gender parity.

Mizoram, Meghalaya, Kerala, Goa and Sikkim top the index with scores between 0.70 and 0.64. This is comparable with a modified GPS for Argentina, China and Indonesia which is about 0.66 to 0.70. Moreover, the top five states account for only 4 percent of India' working women.

Most women in India tend to work in low-productivity jobs compared to men. For instance, 75 per cent women work in agriculture compared with 59 per cent for men.

Further, only 7 per cent of tertiary educated women have jobs as senior officials compared with 14 per cent of men.

India's IT skills have achieved global status. But at home, women account for only 38 per cent of all professional technical jobs and get paid 30 per cent less than men.

Drawing on National Sample Survey Organisation data, MGI found that there are more women doing unpaid work. Women in India do almost 10 times the amount of unpaid care work than men.

India is home to about 25 per cent of all women affected by gender inequality worldwide. This indicates that economic development is not at pace with gender equality.

The report says that 26 countries on Mckinsey's dataset of 95 have a lower per capita GDP and Human Development Index (HDI) than India but have higher levels of gender parity.

Of these, 10 including two within the South and South East Asia region have higher gender parity than India on seven or more of the 12 indicators. They are Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

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