Indian women who turned 18 this year can finally achieve economic equality to men — in 217 years! Yes, by the time they are 235-year-old, they will be economically equal to men. And people do say women live longer than men. According to latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest study on gender equality, it would take 217 years for women to achieve equality in the workplace, even in India.
In India, currently, if a man earns Rs 100 for a particular work, a woman would likely earn just Rs 62 for the same work, the study said. And, the estimated earned income would only Rs 23 as compared to Rs 100 earned by men. The labour force participation is 35 women per 100 men, and the number of women in professional and technical fields is 34 women per 100 men.
The situation is gloomy when it comes to senior positions – at the managerial or legislative level — as there are only 15 women as compared to 100 men. India’s overall rank in gender equality, even after slipping 26 notches, is still above than the rank under ‘Economic participation and opportunity’ — which is 139 of 144 countries.
India’s only saving grace — in a rather bleak situation — is women’s political empowerment. In 2016, when Hillary Clinton was still trying her best to break the glass ceiling, India already had Indira Gandhi as country’s first woman Prime Minister, who was elected 50 years ago. India is ranked 15th under the ‘Political empowerment’ category.
In the last 50 years, there have been 70 women as head of the state per 100 men. However, WEF red-flagged here too, saying: “With more than 50 years having passed since the inauguration of the nation’s first female prime minister in 1966, maintaining its global top 20 ranking on the political empowerment sub-index will require India to make progress on this dimension with a new generation of female political leadership.”
The number of years for achieving economic equality has gone up from 169 in 2016 to 217 this year. The WEF observed that a decade of slow but steady progress on improving parity between the sexes came to a “halt” in 2017.