Improving its position by 21 places, India has now been ranked 87th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016. The country was ranked 108th in the 2015 report.
The improvement in ranking is largely driven by major improvements in the education sector that has closed the gender gap entirely in primary and secondary education, according to the report.
This jump has helped India overtake China, which is ranked 99th out of 144 countries. Iceland tops the latest rankings followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The report measures gender gap as progress towards parity between men and women in four areas – educational attainment, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment.
A troubling finding of the report is that the prospects of global workplace gender parity slipped further, which means economic parity between the genders may take 170 years to close.
India has made considerable strides on education attainment by moving up from 125th rank in 2015 to 113th in 2016. India has also improved its position on economic participation and opportunity.
The most significant improvement by India is in the ranking on primary and secondary education. In 2015, India was ranked 119th on enrollment in primary education and 118th on secondary education. But in the 2016 report it moved up spectacularly to rank 1 on both sub-indices.