Iceland Current Affairs
India was ranked 136th among 163 countries in Global Peace Index 2018 that was released by Sydney-based think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). In Last year’s index, India was ranked 137th. 2018 GPI was twelfth edition of index since it was launched in 2006. Iceland was ranked most peaceful country in the world and it managed to retain its position since 2008.
Global Peace Index (GPI)
GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories every year according to their level of peacefulness. It is considered as one of the most comprehensive analysis that captures trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies. The multifaceted index uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure state of peace using three thematic domains: level of societal safety and security; extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict; and degree of militarisation. It also uses various parameters like the homicide rate, ease of access to weapons, impact of terrorism and number of armed services personnel in population.
Top 10 Peaceful Countries in 2018 GPI: Iceland (1), New Zealand (2), Austria (3), Potugal (4), Denmark (5), Canada (6), Czech Republic (7), Singapore (8), Japan (9) and Ireland (10).
Top 10 Least Peaceful Countries: Syria (163), Afghanistan (162), South Sudan (161), Iraq (160), Somalia (159), Yemen (158), Libya (157), Democratic Republic of Congo (156), Central African Republic (155) and Russia (154).
The index has covered 99.7% of the world’s population.
Global peacefulness: The average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.38% since 2008. Over that period, 85 countries deteriorated, while 75 improved. 71 countries were more peaceful in 2018 than 2018. 92 countries were less peaceful in 2018 than in 2017. The global GPI average deteriorated 0.27% from 2017 to 2018.
Regional Peacefulness: Four most peaceful regions according to GPI 2018 are Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and South America. However, all these regions recorded deteriorations. Europe remains most peaceful region in the world. The combined Middle East and North Africa was the least peaceful region in the world.
Global economic impact of violence: It was $14.76 trillion PPP in 2017, equivalent to 12.4% of global GDP, or $1,988 per person. It has increased by 16% since 2012, corresponding with start of the Syrian war and rising violence in the aftermath of Arab Spring. In the last 70 years, per capita GDP growth has been three times higher in highly peaceful countries.
South Asia: The region experienced largest regional improvement in peacefulness. Bhutan (19), Sri Lanka (67), Nepal (84), Bangladesh (93) and Pakistan (151).
India was ranked low at 108th position out of 144 countries in Global Gender Gap Index 2017 released as part of World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2017. India slipped by 21 places compared to 87th rank last year.
Global Gender Gap Index
The index measures gender gap as progress towards parity between men and women in four indicators (i) Educational attainment, (ii) Health and survival, (iii) Economic opportunity and (iv) Political empowerment. Countries are ranked based scores on scale ranging from 0 (lowest i.e. imparity) to 1 (highest i.e. parity). It is released every year by WEF since 2006.
Key Highlights of Global Gender Gap Index 2017
Iceland is most gender-equal country with score of 0.878. It is followed by Norway (2 rank), Finland (3), Rwanda (4) and Sweden (5), Nicaragua (6) and Slovenia (7), Ireland (8), New Zealand (9) and the Philippines (10).
Overall 68% of global gender gap has been closed, but it is slight deterioration is seen compared to 2016 when gap closed was 68.3%. At current rate of progress, global gender gap will take 100 years to bridge, compared to 83 last year. The case is worse in terms of workplace gender divide as it will take 217 years to close.
India’s cumulative score was 0.669 down from 0.683 in 2016. India has successfully closed 67% of its gender gap, less than many of its international peers. India’s neighbours like Bangladesh ranked 47th, ranked at 100th.
Reasons for India’s lower ranking
It was mainly due to low scores in two indicators. They are (i) Health and Survival: India ranked 141 at bottom four. It was mainly due to India’s poor sex ratio at birth which still points to a strong preference for sons. (ii) Economic Participation and Opportunities for Women: India ranked 139, down from 136 last year.
India’s poor performance on economic front: It was due to fact that on an average, a woman in India is estimated to earn less than quarter of annual income earned by a man. She gets paid only 60% of what her male counterpart gets for similar work. Moreover, women account for over third of labour force participation, but their share of daily unpaid work (household chores, childcare etc.) is 65% while it is only 11% for men. Across sectors, only 13% of senior officials, managers and legislators are women.
Other factors: Fall in India’s ranking can be attributed to widening of its gender gaps in political empowerment as well as in healthy life expectancy and basic literacy. Though India succeeded in fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps and very near to closing its tertiary education gender gap, but its overall literacy rate still shows disparity between men (80%) and women (59%). Moreover, in case women holding top political positions, India’s ranks high at 15th position but the proportion of women in legislature is an abysmal 11%.