'India scores poorly at gender parity'

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 07, 2013 16:44 hrs

New Delhi: A new global study measuring the socio-economic standing of women has ranked India poorly on the indicators for gender parity.

Asian countries, including India ranked low on a scale of 1 to 100 as compared to nations like New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, according to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women's Advancement study, which was released Thursday.

While India scored 38, Japan was at 48.1 and Korea at 49.7 percentile indicating that much more can be done to achieve gender parity.

Overall, amongst the 14 Asia-Pacific countries, New Zealand ranked first (77.8 index score), followed by Australia (76.0), the Philippines (70.5), Singapore (67.5) and Taiwan (64.7).

India had an education ranking of 79.3 which shows that Indian women have access to secondary and tertiary education, but there are barriers preventing them from taking top positions in the government or private sector, as indicated by the leadership ranking of 15.9.

Hence there is clearly much work to be done to remove such institutional barriers thereby allowing women to take up these leadership positions in business and government, the study said.

Again the employment ranking of 43.6 shows that some immediate improvements are required to enhance women's participation in the workforce and to ensure that they are able to find regular employment.

Overall the survey indicates that there is a lot of room for improvement and a clear need for affirmative action to ensure women's advancement in Indian society and the workplace.

The study measures the socio-economic standing of women across Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

The Index is comprised of three main indicators which are derived from additional sub-indicators, employment, education and leadership.

Each indicator measures the ratio of women to every 100 men in each of the 14 Asia-Pacific countries covered by the research.

More from Sify: