Context: Global Gender Gap Index has been released by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2020. In the Global Gender Gap Index 2020, the number of countries increased to 153 in which India’s ranking was 112th. India’s score has moved from 0.665 in 2018 to 0.668 in 2020.


Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) ranks 149 countries on their status of gender equality through various parameters. On this index, India ranked 108th on its performance on gender equality.


The report’s Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to calculated gender gap between women and men in four key areas: healtheducationeconomy and politics to gauge the state of gender equality in a country. The report examines four overall areas of inequality between men and women in 130 economies around the globe, over 93% of the world’s population. This year number of countries have increased to 153.  Government of India has given utmost priority to end the gender based inequities, reducing disparity between men and women, improving socio-economic status of women and increasing their participation in various fields. Some of the major initiatives taken by Government of India to ensure that women gain equal rights, opportunities and access to resources are: Constitutional Provisions: Articles such as Article 14Article 15 (3)Article 39A, and Article 42 make special provisions for rights of women to ensure gender equality. Legislative Provisions: Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Act (PCPNDT), 1994; Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013; Equal Remuneration Act, 1976; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Amended in 2017) aimed at mandating women’s rights. Schemes/Programmes: With respect to the parameters of GGGI, following are the key initiatives taken.

  • Economic Participation & Opportunity: Various programmes/Schemes that are intended towards women development and empowerment are:
    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) ensures the protection, survival and education of the girl child.
    • Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) aims to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development and employment.
    • Working Women Hostel (WWH) ensures the safety and security for working women.
    • Mahila Police Volunteers(MPV) envisages engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers in States/UTs who act as a link between police and community and facilitates women in distress.
    • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) is an apex micro-finance organization that provides micro-credit at concessional terms to poor women for various livelihood and income generating activities.
    • The National Crèche Scheme ensures that women take up gainful employment through providing a safe, secure and stimulating environment to the children.
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandna Yojna aims  to provide maternity benefit  to  pregnant and lactating mothers.
    • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana aims to provide housing under the name of the woman also.
    • Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) focuses on creating opportunities for women in skill development, leading to market based employment.
    • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana empowers women and protects their health by providing LPG cylinder free of cost.
    • Pradhan Mantri Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna– Under this scheme girls have been economically empowered by opening their bank accounts.
    • Female Entrepreneurship: To promote female entrepreneurship, the Government has initiated schemes like Stand Up India and Mahila e-Haat (online marketing platform to support women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs). Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) provides access to institutional finance to micro/small business.
  • Educational Attainment:
    • Several steps and initiatives have also been taken up in school education system such as National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 and flagship programme like Samagra Shiksha and the subsequent Right to Education Act (RTE). 
    • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have been opened in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs). 
    • Gender sensitisation is also done which includes gender sensitization module- part of in-service training, construction of toilets for girls, construction of residential quarters for female teachers and curriculum reforms.
  • Political Participation:
    • Also, to bring women in the mainstream of political leadership at the grass root level, government has reserved 33% of the seats in Panchayati Raj Institutions for women.
    • Capacity Building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) programme by Ministry of Women and Child is conducted with a view to empower women to participate effectively in the governance processes.

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