India worse than Pak on UN gender index

Aradhana Sharma | TNN

New  Delhi: When it comes to gender inequality, India fares worse than  Pakistan, and is better than only Afghanistan in all of South Asia.

The  abysmal picture was reflected in the Gender Inequality Index based on  the findings of the 2010 Human Development Report released by the United  Nations Development Programme on Thursday. Pakistan may be in the news  for the plight of women there, and may have over the years become one of  the grounds zero of international women’s activism, but it certainly  seems to know how to take care of its mothers. On maternal mortality,  India, with its poor record, trails Pakistan.

Reproductive health is the largest contributor to the index. The other parameters on which it  is calculated include women’s participation in the labour force, their  level of empowerment based on education and parliamentary  representation. For maternal mortality, the figure for Pakistan is 320  deaths per 100,000 live births. In India, the corresponding figure  stands at 450.

The country also falters on adolescent fertility  rate which, in India, is 68 births per 1,000 live births as compared to  Pakistan’s 45. The figures show Pakistan has fewer younger mothers.

India,  however, does better in female participation in the labour force — 36%  as opposed to 23% for Pakistan. On the index, India ranks 122 among 138  countries for which the gender inequality measure was calculated.  Pakistan is at 116 and Bangladesh a notch higher at 112.

Courtesy: The Times of India, November 05, 2010

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