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