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WEF recognised need to count women participation in local bodies in its gender gap report: Irani

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NEW DELHI, Jan 23 (PTI): The World Economic Forum has recognised the need to enumerate women’s participation in local government bodies in its gender gap report, women and child development minister Smriti Irani said on Monday.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked India at 135 out of 146 countries in its Global Gender Gap (GGG) Index for 2022. India’s rank has been low in the index for the past several years. The government has time and again rejected the index, saying that the index does not give a complete picture as it does not include women elected to local bodies.

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Irani, who travelled to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, said it has recognised the need to enumerate women’s participation in local government bodies in its Gender Gap Report.

“At @MinistryWCD, we are happy to share that #WEF @Davos has recognised the need to enumerate women’s participation in local govt. bodies in the Gender Gap Report. This is a big victory for 1.4 million grassroots women locally elected at panchayat level in India. #IndiaAtDavos2023,” she tweeted.

She said the WEF has also expressed its willingness to study India’s Gender Budget System.

“Additionally, @wef confirming its willingness to study India’s Gender Budget System is also a huge acknowledgement of PM @narendramodi Ji’s efforts to ensure women-led development,” she said in another tweet.

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In a letter to Irani, WEF’s Saadia Zahidi said the forum will work with India to strengthen collaboration around the agenda of women and work together on the following areas of improving global data collection and cross-country benchmarking efforts to assess in a globally comparable way participation of women in local political decision-making.

The other area she mentioned is showcasing on the forum’s digital platform the impact achieved by the Indian government through its gender budgeting system, promoting gender equality in all sectors and at all levels of governance.

The WEF said the forum would work for establishing a skills and gender parity accelerator in India to identify and scale up targeted public-private initiatives that will prepare the Indian workforce for the future of work, support the development of the Indian digital, care and green economy, and expand the skills of women for the new economy.

The WEF’s gender gap report is based on four parameters – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Under political empowerment, the WEF considers only Union ministers and not even ministers of states and MLAs, sources said.

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