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ET Women's Forum: Why India needs to hear the voice of half a billion

India scored a dismal 112 rank in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index 2020.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 18, 2020, 11.08 AM IST
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Agencies
​The third edition of ET Women's Forum ​will roll out on March 27.​
The third edition of ET Women's Forum will roll out on March 27.
From literacy rates to boardrooms, the global benchmarks of achieving gender equality keep getting farther from the country’s reach. Never before was there a stronger need to amplify the voice of women.
Women in the economy.
Women in the economy.

Gender gap runs deep in India. India scored a dismal 112 rank in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index 2020, four positions down from the previous year. Worse, India ranked 149 out of 153 countries in economic participation and opportunity for women.

Women in India Inc.
Women in India Inc.

The WEF measured Gender gap across four key pillars - economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and survival and it found India wanting on several counts.
Women in top management.
Women in top management.

In the report, WEF noted with concern: “India ranks 112th on the overall Global Gender Gap Index and the country has closed two-thirds of its overall gender gap (score of 66.8%). However, the condition of women in large fringes of India’s society is precarious.”
Women in management education.
Women in management education.

In India, only one-quarter of women, compared with 82% of men, engage actively in the labour market (ie working or looking for work)—one of the lowest participation rates in the world (145th).
Pay parity
Pay parity

Furthermore, female estimated earned income is a mere one-fifth of male income, which is also among the world’s lowest (144th). Beyond the numbers, the catalyst for the change will be a structural shift in socio-cultural factors.

India vis-a-vis neighbours
India vis-a-vis neighbours

As Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, noted in the last edition of Economic Times Women’s Forum: “There are structural and attitudinal issues that still get in the way of women getting fair access to leadership.”
Women in Politics.
Women in Politics.

It is with all this in mind that The Economic Times had launched the ET Women’s Forum as a collaborative forum (www.etwomensforum.com) to create an urgent, sustainable and national culture of empowering India’s half a billion women.
Women in Armed Forces.
Women in Armed Forces.

The third edition of the forum will roll out on March 27.

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