NEW DELHI: A new dataset compiled by Mckinsey Global Institute (MGI), on the contribution of women in labor workforce places India with a lowly score of 0.34 with the severity of gender inequality red-flagged as ‘Extremely high’.

India thus falls behind even Bangladesh and the Congo.


The report rated the countries on 15 parameters, out of which data were available for at least 10 indicators for India on which it has been rated. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and UP figured as the worst performers, with a gender-parity score of 0.42 to 0.46. It doesn’t provide much comfort to know that on an aggregate level India scores 0.48 on Gender Parity Score (GPS), which is more than the GPS for rest of south Asia (0.44), when the former lags behind many of the sub-Saharan countries.

The report titled, ‘The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth’, reckons that in a ‘“full potential” scenario in which women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025,” while in a ‘best in region’ scenario, in which the countries follow and catch up with the gender-parity level of the best country in their region, it could add, “as much as $12 trillion, or 11 percent, in annual 2025 GDP.”

Few of the indicators upon which the GPS were calculated are: labor force participation, technical jobs, unpaid care work, education, digital inclusion, legal protection, sex-ratio at birth, and wage-gap, among others.

Latin American countries like Ecuador and Colombia, which are notorious for recurrent news coming from them of assaulting their women and using them as carriers in the drug-trade are just as safe, or unsafe, as India, with a GPS of 0.73 for physical security for both India and Ecuador, and 0.77 for Colombia.

While it maintains a respectable score of 0.75 for ‘Essential Services’ for women, our nation scores an embarrassing 0.24 on ‘legal protection and political voice’, keeping a not so distinguished company with Indonesia, Ethiopia, Russia, and Senegal and remaining way behind once decimated Rwanda. Uganda, and Tanzania too are way ahead of us on this parameter.

The study gauges six measures which should be met in order to bridge the gender-gap, these are financial incentives and support; technology and infrastructure; the creation of economic opportunity; capability building; advocacy and shaping attitudes; and laws, policies, and regulations.

It reckoned that if India happens to match the gender-parity levels of ‘best in region’ country, it can bring $2.9 trillion or a 16 per cent additional rise in its GDP by 2025.