Gender-based disparities declining, says Govt study

Both Gender Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measurement (GME)—two key parameters of women’s development—have shown a decrease over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006.

The GDI scores estimated for India were 0.514 in 1996 and 0.590 in 2006 showing an increase of 0.076 points, according to a study by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The GDI is the Human Development Index (HDI) adjusted for disparities between men and women and the estimated GDI score for India are lower than the HDI score at both points of time due to the existence of gender-based disparities in all three dimensions.

Each of these three dimensions namely health, literacy and standard of living that constitute the GDI also reflect an increase over the decade, thereby implying that progress has been made in each of these areas.

Similarly, the Gender Empowerment Measure scores for India increased from 0.416 in 1996 to 0.497 in 2006.

The parameters for the GEM score were political participation and decision-making power, economic participation power over economic resources.

An analysis of the data for states and UTs, shows that Kerala had the highest score of 0.721 in the country. However, in 2006, it was ranked second in the GDI with a score of 0.745. Chandigarh was ranked second on both GDI and HDI in 1996, but attained the highest HDI and GDI scores in 2006 at 0.784 and 0.763 respectively.
Goa was ranked third on both HDI and GDI in 1996. It improved its rank to second on HDI and GDI in 2006. None of the states has a GDI less than 0.5 except Bihar.
Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said though a step has been taken in the right direction, there was a long way to go.

Ministry of Women and Child Development D K Sikri said the improving indices can be attributed to the better education. Gender Development Indices can be used as tools to re-allocate resources for programmes and schemes designed to correct gender gaps at all level of governance through monitoring and tracking of progress regularly.

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