Learn more about the data-driven advocacy work of EM2030 partner, SAHAJ, and about India's performance in the SDG Gender Index. 

Society for Health Alternatives (SAHAJ) is an Indian civil society organization focused on promoting social accountability for women’s, adolescents’ and children’s health and education. 

Learn more about SAHAJ’s data-driven advocacy work.

About gender equality in India :

2020 Index score: 64.5

2015 Index score: 60.4

Status: ‘Fast’ progress since 2015 and ‘poor’ overall score

2020 Global ranking: 91 of 144 countries

2020 Regional ranking: 18 of 26 countries in Asia and the Pacific

Download India's country profile :

Key findings

India saw an improvement of 4 points (‘fast progress’) on the SDG Gender Index overall between 2015 and 2020, placing it among the top 15 fastest-moving countries in the Index. But its score remains ‘poor’ at 65 points.

India has seen several progressive legislative shifts in recent years, such as the repealing of Section 377 to decriminalize consensual same-sex relationships and the extension of maternity leave to 26 weeks. Yet gaps persist in policy implementation, women’s labour force participation remains low and rates of violence against women are high.

The Index shows that India has progressed on SDG 3 on health, SDG 6 on water, SDG 7 on clean energy, SDG 8 on work, SDG 10 on inequalities and SDG 13 on climate. The country’s biggest change has been on SDG 13, with its Index score increasing by 20 points since 2015. This has been driven by improvements in women’s representation on its delegation to UN Conference of the Parties (COP) climate summits (Ind. 13.1) and growth in the share of women satisfied with environmental policies (Ind. 13.2, from 54 points (‘very poor’) in 2015 to 80 (‘good’) in 2020). India has also performed well on reducing the number of over-age girls in primary education (Ind. 4.1) with a 2020 score of 95, and transparent national budgets (Ind. 17.3) with a 2020 score of 100.

There have been declines on other key goals, however. The decline on SDG 5 on gender equality has been driven by a decrease in women’s representation in ministerial roles (Ind. 5.5, from 44 points to just 18). India’s score has also declined on SDG 2 on nutrition and SDG 11 on sustainable cities.