India was ranked 135th in terms of gender parity on Wednesday, despite improving five places from last year thanks to better performances in the areas of economic participation and opportunity.

Iceland has retained its place as the most equal country in the world, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual gender gap report 2022 (WEF) published in Geneva.

Only 11 countries are ranked below India on the 146-nation index, with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo, Iran and Chad being the five worst.

East Asia and the Pacific will be on track to close the gender gap in 168 years if things continue this way, the WEF said in the new report. The report estimates that, overall, the world will need another 132 years to level the playing field. In politics, the world will take 155 years to achieve gender parity.

The WEF has warned that the cost of living crisis is set to hit women hardest globally with a widening gender gap in the workforce and it will take another 132 years (up from 136 in 2021) to close the gap. gender gap.

The report further states that Covid-19 set gender parity back by a generation and that a weak recovery was worsening it globally.

On India, the WEF said its gender gap score recorded its seventh highest level in the past 16 years, but it continues to rank among the worst performers on various metrics.

“With a female population of around 662 million, India’s level of achievement weighs heavily on regional rankings,” he said.