India’s HDI improves: Reducing gender gap in labour force a challenge - The Tribune India

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India’s HDI improves

Reducing gender gap in labour force a challenge

India’s HDI improves

Photo for representation. File photo



INDIA’S progress in the Human Development Index (HDI) signifies a big milestone in the nation’s strides towards reducing gender inequality. Its HDI value of 0.644 in 2022 places the country in the medium human development category, as per the Human Development Report 2023-24. It marks a significant rise of 48.4 per cent since 1990, when the HDI was 0.434. Also impressive is India’s latest Gender Inequality Index value of 0.437, which outstrips the global and South Asian averages of 0.462 and 0.478, respectively. The improvements in life expectancy, education and income are some other progressive indicators — since 1990, average life expectancy at birth has risen by 9.1 years and mean years of schooling have grown by 3.8 years. But all is not rosy as challenges persist, notably the gender gap in labour force participation, with women at 28.3 per cent compared to men at 76.1 per cent.

The global landscape of human development remains marred by disparities. While affluent nations thrive, many poor countries struggle, exacerbating the socioeconomic divide. The Covid-19 pandemic has widened these inequalities, derailing global progress and leaving vast segments of the population behind. It is imperative for the international community to redouble efforts towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

The HDI report’s call to address the challenges by prioritising ‘planetary public goods’ for climate stability and digital equity is noteworthy. To mitigate climate change and bridge the digital divide, it is vital to invest in sustainability and expand access to technology. Policymakers and stakeholders must heed this call and collaborate for building a more resilient and equitable world. India’s leadership in shaping the global development agenda serves as a beacon of hope in an increasingly polarised world.


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