Improve Your Vocabulary From Newspaper(01-12-2017)
Buried in the rankings din
The credit rating company, Moody’s, has upgraded India’s investment ranking from the lowest to one notch up. This was preceded by India’s 30-spot rise in the “Ease of Doing Business” rankings, from 130 to 100. Both these upgrades, from rock bottom to slightly-higher-than-rock-bottom, have created a media stir, with a barrage of congratulatory op-eds and commentaries, including in the daily FM radio shows that belt out the latest hits. What these rankings signify about the state of the Indian economy is debatable, but this piece is about another ranking that got buried in the din.
The Global Gender Gap ranking for 2017 was released last month. India slipped 21 places in this ranking compared to last year. Why did this not generate commensurate analysis and introspection? Probably because of the belief that the ease of doing business has direct consequences for economic growth and material welfare, whereas gender rankings are more about fairness, equity, or empowerment — warm-glow concepts that are difficult to define and change, even if we hypothetically assume that there is a consensus that gender gaps are not desirable. Which, of course, there isn’t, as there is daily evidence of a mindset that thinks of women as second-class individuals, both inside the home and outside.
Like all indices, the Global Gender Gap Index, which was first introduced in 2006, is a précis measure, in turn a combination of four different sub-indices, each summarising multiple indicators. The index lies between 0 and 1, with 1 denoting complete parity. It is important to note that this index focuses on gender gaps, and not on whether “women are winning the battle of the sexes”, that is, the focus is on the position of women relative to men (that is, gender equality), rather than to their absolute position (that is, women’s empowerment). The idea is to track changes in gender gaps both over time and across countries.
Also, like all such indices, it doesn’t include everything that matters for gender equality, but focuses only on a few key measures. Thus, it should not be seen as a comprehensive treatise on gender equality, but as a useful pointer or a highlighter of key summary statistics that can be reliably measured and tracked.
The table shows the values of the overall index, as well as the four sub-indices, and India’s rank in a set of 144 countries in each of these for 2016 and 2017. Overall, we see that India’s position has slipped by 21 points despite the fact that the value of the index has fallen marginally. This slide in India’s position reflects that gender gaps in India on these dimensions have worsened, both over time and relative to other countries (that is, other countries have done better).
The two sub-components of the index that account for this slide over time are “economic participation and opportunity” and “political empowerment”. The former includes three indicators: The participation gap (difference in labour force participation between men and women), the remuneration gap (captured by a hard data statistic of ratio of estimated female-to-male earned income, as well as a qualitative indicator about wage equality for similar work), and the advancement gap (measured through two hard data statistics: Ratio of women to men among legislators, senior officials and managers, and the ratio of women to men among technical and professional workers). The latter measure identifies gender gaps in the highest level of political decision-making, and includes the ratio of women to men among ministers, among parliamentarians, and in terms of years in executive office (president or prime minister) over the last 50 years.
congratulatory – बधाई का
signify – प्रकट करना
buried – दफन
commensurate – अनुरूप
introspection – आत्मनिरीक्षण
hypothetically – परिकल्पित
marginally – मामूली
worsened -खराब हो गई
By Lokesh Saini
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